Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 235 - Apostlebird

When I started this post I realised that was the second bird in a few posts where the common name has religious overtones - just a coincidence!

These are Apostlebirds (Struthidea cinerea).  We were stopped in Katherine in the Northern Territory when I saw a flock of about 20 or 30 of these birds feeding in a small park.  I quick dash over the road was in order.

The Apostlebird is common in some place on the eastern side of Australia - but you tend to find lots, or none at all.  Katherine must be a 'lots' place.  These birds were feeding in an area of grass that went from deep shade to bright sunshine in a few paces, which made photographing groups of them a bit of a challenge!  The speed at which they move did not help either!

Apostlebirds are one of a number of species in Australia that breed in groups built around one breeding pair.  Most of the other birds in the group are termed 'helpers' and are normally either the offspring of the pair, or closely related kin.  Interestingly, some birds that are unrelated to the breeding pair are sometimes found in the group.










Most of you will know what to do now - click on the blue button and off you go.

35 comments:

A Quiet Corner said...

What a beauty, Stewart!!! Love the color...:)JP

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful color, interesting behavior patterns, why the name?( I will google it). Thank you for hosting!,,

Margaret Adamson said...

Lovely set of bird images adn yes I was fortunate to see a number of these birds on a trip I maade in Queensland. Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a great week ahead.

Jo said...

What a beautiful sequence of photos of this interesting-looking bird, Stewart. It reminds me of a Common Starling that we get here. Thanks for hosting this meme; I'll link up tomorrow (Wednesday in South Africa). Greetings Jo

Missy George said...

Love their color..They look like our pesky Grackles or Starlings..They travel in swarming flocks..Nice series of pictures..

Sharon Wagner said...

Interesting profile. Another new bird to me.

Brian King said...

Very handsome birds! Kinda remind me of a cross between a blackbird and cowbird (U.S.).

Beth said...

Are those cigarette butts on the ground in the first couple of photos?

Phil Slade said...

A very striking bird there Stewart. I couldn't hlp but notice that the whole bird is blue, including the legs. Most unusual.

mick said...

Great photos of interesting birds.

Sue (this n that) said...

Hi Stewart, interesting to read about their communal way of supporting each other. Looking at just their legs reminded me of Magpies, the way they move their feet too! Love their colour and your photos are great. Cheers now :D)

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Stewart. They sound like interesting birds. Great series of photos. Thanks for hosting.
Have a happy week ahead!

Nora said...

What an incredible bird! I love the blue color. cheers.

Mosura said...

Fascinating birds. Used to see them occasionally up around Tamworth in N.S W

A Colorful World said...

What a fascinating bird, staying in "family" groups. And they are very handsome birds...love your photos, Stewart!

Anu said...

They are very interesting birds. Wonderful photos.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

These are very different bird from India... Nice...

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Such a scowling demeanor

Cloudia said...

Handsome little eagles!

Andrea Priebe said...

They are beautiful in their own way, but have the stern look of a Catholic Nun ... would almost expect them to whip out a ruler and wrap it across somebodies knuckles. (Of course, they don't do that anymore, just describing the look). Their mating practice seems very strange for birds (wolves operate that way)but it is probably a good thing if the flock is all related. Nature sure is amazing. Looking forward to those New Zealand pictures :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Lea said...

Great photos of the Apostlebirds!
I have Cardinals for my WBW post today
Hope you are having a wonderful week!

photodoug said...

Stewart, wonderful bird, great captures.. Thanks for sharing.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

They're VERY attractive

Dave Lewis said...

The differences in the colors depending on the lighting is cool!

Linda said...

We don't have these in Virginia. I like the blue color.

Liz Needle said...

I haven't seen them around here, so we must be a "don't have'. Interesting bird.

babsjeheron said...

What great photos of a fascinating bird, Stewart! Are they really as blue as they appear? I had read that the color blue in feathers is the result of refraction, rather than a blue pigment, but your birds seem to appear otherwise. Best, Babsje

dhiru guri said...

Beautiful bird. Lovely color.

GreenComotion said...

What an appropriate name for this beautiful bird!
Lovely snaps, Stewart.
Have a Happy Weekend!
Peace :)

Denise inVA said...

I enjoyed learning of this bird Stewart. Great photos!

Bob Bushell said...

The Apostlebirds are beautiful, it's the way that you shoot them, cheers Stewart.

David Gascoigne said...

It's a very attractive bird, Stewart. I am sure that you had a fabulous time in New Zealand recently and rest assured that if ever you find your way to southern Ontario I will do everything possible to help you enjoy great birding here.

NatureFootstep said...

strange, I thought I commented on your Apostlebird.
I saw it once high up in a treetop. :) Not really a photoop.

Liz said...

Another bird I have yet to come across. You certainly do get around. You must have a huge bird list now!

Pat Tillett said...

Gorgeous photos Stewart!
Beautiful birds also.