Tag: birds

The emu-wren diaries
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The emu-wren diaries

There is a bold plan underway to bring Mallee Emu-wrens back to South Australia, where wildfires have wiped them out. Simon Verdon details the decline of this mysterious and beautiful mallee bird and the efforts underway to save the species. 2014 Monday, January 13th The heathlands stretch out in every direction, as far as the...

Awestruck by albatrosses
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Awestruck by albatrosses

I stopped, captivated, entranced. Is this real? It can’t be. What a beautiful creature; those eyes, so intense, focused and alert. It was then I realised I was talking out loud. My colleague smiled at me, that knowing smile of having been there before – an understanding of that awestruck feeling which opened the door...

Australian magpies: the playful protectors
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Australian magpies: the playful protectors

Beautiful, vicious, cheeky, scary, intelligent, psychopathic. These are some of the words people have used to describe the Australian Magpie since it was voted the 2017 Australian Bird Of The Year. Like its close contender, the White Ibis (or ‘bin chicken’), the magpie can elicit mixed emotions among its human neighbours. There are stories of...

Penny Olsen on the enigmatic Night Parrot and the people who chase it
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Penny Olsen on the enigmatic Night Parrot and the people who chase it

When images of a live Night Parrot were taken back in 2013, the ensuing excitement was like nothing seen before in the annals of Australian natural history. It spread like wildfire among nature enthusiasts as the public waited with fervour for more details about the sighting. This was a monumental discovery, one that ended continued...

On the tail of the malurid wrens
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On the tail of the malurid wrens

I remember sitting with my cousin in my aunty and uncle’s backyard when I was in my teens, watching the local birds milling around the garden and bathing in the bird bath. The backyard was providing plenty of thrills for us novice birdwatchers. We watched the interesting behaviours and interactions of the birds and identified...

Secret love
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Secret love

My dad was a man of few words, except when he got together with a few mates and spun such yarns that Mum would roll her eyes behind his back. He worked hard as a labourer all his life and, despite having left school at thirteen to help on the family farm on the New...

It takes a village: saving the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo is a community ambition
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It takes a village: saving the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo is a community ambition

In Victoria’s far south-west, the Red-tailed Black-cockatoo survives in a fragmented landscape of stringybark forests within a matrix of agricultural lands. The birds here are a distinct subspecies of Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne or the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, isolated from others of their kind by thousands of kilometres. Their life history is inextricably tied to...

There was still life in the old, dead tree
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There was still life in the old, dead tree

The view from the back veranda of my parents’ house is typical of rural areas of north-east Victoria: open paddocks spreading for miles across the valley floor before reaching the forest-clad rolling hills. As a child, I spent many hours on the veranda looking out across the countryside. Beyond our small farm dam, just over...