Here in Australia we are so blessed to have an incredible range of colourful, interesting and unique birdlife. Each year, National Bird Week gets us all a-flutter at Remember The Wild. We are proud bird nerds (in fact this is a requirement in our team) and will happily chatter about birds from the dawn chorus til the dusk. We rounded up our team to ask them about their favourite Aussie birds and they were all too happy to sing. Did I mention we enjoy bird puns, too?
So, before we all head out to do our bit for citizen science and complete our Aussie Backyard Bird Count (and before we can fit in any more terrible bird-related puns), we’ve asked some of our team members to share their favourite Australian bird and a brief story about their connection with this animal.
Cathy, Chief Operating Officer & Social Media Manager: Powerful Owl
I was stoked to track down this young family of a bird I’d never seen before. They are HUGE – as tall as two rulers end to end! Powerful Owls nest in big tree hollows, so to keep them around we need to protect old growth trees (the ones with the precious owl real estate.)
Victoria, Administration & Engagement Officer: Magpie-lark
When I was a kid I remember waking up one Sunday morning to a distinct tapping noise on my window. Initially, I was freaked out that someone was trying to get into my house. But when I went and looked I discovered a tiny Magpie-lark tapping at the window furiously, thinking its reflection was another bird. Nearly every morning for about a month this bird would come back to get revenge on its reflection. At the time I loathed that bird for waking me with its persistent tapping. Yet now every time I see a Magpie-lark, I can’t help but smile and feel nostalgic for the time when that diligent bird tapped on my window.
Elodie, Project Manager: Little Penguin
I love Little Penguins; they’re small, yet so tough. Going to St Kilda pier to watch them come home after a long day spent fishing and get reunited with their families is one of my favourite wildlife encounters in Melbourne. They’ve adapted very well to take advantage of their urban environment; we still have our role to play to ensure parents can take care of the chicks when they come back to their burrows without disruption though by minimising the use of light and noise at the colony.
Rowan, Volunteer Writer: Campbell Albatross
On rough days the sea seems so inhospitable. Then all of a sudden you see a Campbell Albatross, a thing of such beauty that is seems so out of place among the churning swell.
Tim, Productions Content Creator: Red Wattlebird
I’ve always been fascinated by wattlebirds patrolling the backyards of houses I’ve lived in. Last year while visiting my sister in Perth, I had a really fun time filming a Red Wattlebird feasting in Kings Park.
Sarah, Publications Manager: Rainbow Bee-eater
I was astounded by my first sighting of a Rainbow Bee-eater in Katherine in the Northern Territory. It was such an exotic-looking creature and reminded me of birds I had marvelled at in photographs or museums but never thought I’d see in real life. I was thrilled to then see more of these magnificent birds on Rottnest Island in WA and even more shocked to see them yet again on Magnetic Island in Queensland last year. I never even knew this bird existed until I saw my first one just a few years ago and went scrambling for my camera and field guide – yet it’s every bit as flashy as the world-famous hummingbird.
Michael, Production Manager: Plains-wanderer
Its name is really evocative. I like to imagine them out there wandering the plains. They’re rare and they’re unique – the only species of their genus. The thrill of spotting a Plains-wanderer among the grasses at night is something very special.
(It’s lucky that Michael likes Plains-wanderers, because he’s spent many, many nights following them around with a camera, capturing footage for our much-awaited feature documentary on these special little birds – a joint project with Trust for Nature, Bush Heritage, Parks Victoria and Zoos Victoria.)
Banner image of a young Rainbow Lorikeet courtesy of Cathy Cavallo.