Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New Bird in Town

I don’t remember when I last added a new bird to my “garden list”. It may be more than a year. But this morning a new addition came along and stayed long enough to be identified.
My “garden list” is a record of the different types of birds that I have seen from my house and garden. They don’t need to be ON my property, as long as I see them FROM my property. The new bird was perched in my neighbour’s tortured willow.

It was a similar size to the regularly seen Red Wattle birds, but its colour seemed different. It was too far away to see detail so I picked up my camera and zoomed in. Unfortunately I still couldn’t see enough detail and in holding the camera close to the glass of the window my breath was fogging up the glass. I took a few photos, hoping that I’d get enough detail to help me identify the bird, but I wasn’t confident of getting a good enough shot.
Finally I did the sensible thing and swapped the camera for my binoculars, and that made the difference. It was definitely something new. The most dominant feature was its long, black curved beak which had a noticeable bump on the top – revealing it to be a noisy friarbird.

As my own attempts to photograph the bird failed so the photo featured below was found at:

Some may wonder why I initially opted for the camera rather than the more effective binoculars. In the past I have found that a good view of a bird doesn’t always guarantee that I will remember enough of its distinctive features to give me a positive identification. And when I’ve referred to my field guides there have been two or more similar birds all of which could have been the one I’d been observing. Having a photo, even one of poor quality, has often helped me to identify the bird I have seen.

more information about the bird can be found here:


Thomas said...

What an interesting looking bird. I've never seen anything like it here in the States.

Onesimus said...

Hi Thomas,
While I previously knew about these birds it is the first time I have seen one. It seems to have made its home in my garden now that my Grevillea "Poorinda Peter" is in flower.
It is very territorial and quickly drives any competing Honeyeaters from its territory. Until recently our regular visitors were Red Wattlebirds, but even though they are the same size as the friarbird they have been forced out of their former feeding area.
Despite its aggressiveness against other birds, the friarbird is extremely timid when it comes to the presence of people.