Monday, November 4, 2013

Crazy Bird Lady

Rainbow Lorikeets

I have always loved birds. Birds in the wild. Bird art. Birds on fabric. Bird jewelry. Bird ornaments. As a rule, if there is a bird on it, I will have a look. You know that expression - be careful what you wish for...well, if ever birds were to be front and centre in my life, they surely are now. There is actually a bird sanctuary across the street from where we are living. 

Forget the crow of a rooster as an alarm.  Instead, I hear a veritable symphony of birdsong starting around 4 am every morning now.  I think they have come into my life in such a dramatic fashion to force me out of bed much earlier than I would normally rise.  It gets light earlier here as well, so by 4:30 the sun is coming up and by 5:00 am, I am up now. I never thought I would see the day where I started emulating my parent's crazy sleep/wake schedule, but alas, it looks like I may be there.  With the sun heating up the world so early, it is really imperative that I get moving at this hour if I plan to do anything strenuous in terms of exercise.  Much past 7:30, it just gets too hot.

But back to the birds. It is just amazing to see the tropical parrots and colourful bird varieties here in Queensland. Last night before dusk I watched as hundreds of Rainbow Lorikeets gathered at the top of a massive mature Eucalyptus tree. Standing near the tree, the sound of this choir of birdsong was like a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds...on steroids!  On another tree, a similar scene prevailed, only this time with large white Cattle Egrets, not to be outdone by the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos.  The local residents think nothing of this daily spectacle of nature, but these exotic species are like wildlife eye candy for this Canuck.

Cattle Egret

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Prior to this viewing of a real life episode of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (for those of you old enough to have seen that show on TV), I had gorged myself on the back porch, binoculars at the ready on a pair of parrots in the adjacent Jacaranda Tree. They were so multi-coloured and different from the lorikeets and the Australian King Parrots I had seen the first few days after I arrived, I had to look them up. They were called Pale-Headed Rosellas. They were a couple and they moved in tandem from tree to tree, gracing me with their beauty for over an hour and then they flew off across the neighbourhood together, having dined on the seed pods of the Silky Oak and nectar of the Jacaranda like a seasoned old married couple out for dinner at their favourite restaurant before heading home for the remainder of the evening, where they might then have reviewed their night out and chuckled over the crazy Canadian woman who wouldn't stop staring at them all night.

Pale-headed Rosella

When I wasn't busy perving on the Rosellas, I was mesmerized by the assortment of Honeyeaters. They come in quite a few varieties and they amuse as they hang upside down draining the Jacaranda Blossoms of their nectar. They also like to chase each other from tree to tree creating a mad scene of seeming aggressive birdie tag. 

Blue-faced Honeyeater

This morning as I did my loop around the park, the evidence left behind from the hundreds of Galahs that feast on the ancient fig trees, crunched beneath my feet. There is always a bit of a risk of them leaving a not- so-sweet surprise on your head or shoulder as you walk under these trees when they are feeding but so far, I have been lucky. Note to self... I must remember to carry some tissue with me from now on. 


The ability to do this on a daily basis is enough to make my day. Like any gift of nature, it feeds my soul and makes me grateful to be alive and fortunate to witness these beautiful creatures. I always enjoyed birds in Canada. I used to feed the Goldfinches and got excited to see Cardinals and Pine Grosbeaks and Cedar Waxwings depending on what part of the country I was living in at any given time, but this is a whole new ball of wax down here. The type of birds I am used to seeing in cages or zoos flit and fly around here like Sparrows and Chickadees - as common as that. 

These are the kind of Tweets that really interest me.

1 comment:

Carla Sandrin said...

Beautiful! I love birds too. Did you take those photos? They're wonderful.