This is a companion to my other Bird of the Day blog, which focuses on birds I have seen in Victoria, Canada.

In March 2014, my husband and I traveled to Australia. These are the birds I photographed during our time in Melbourne and Tasmania. All of the pictures were taken with my Nikon D3100, which is an entry-level digital SLR camera, and my new AF-S VR 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.G IF ED lens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hooded Plover

Thinornis rubricollis

Medium-sized, stocky plover
Sandy-brown above
White nape
White underparts
Dark brown iris with red eye ring
Red bill with black tip
Pinkish-orange legs
    Black head
    Black hindneck
      Sandy-brown head and hindneck

On Maria Island in Tasmania, we saw a small groups of these birds while walking on the beach. They were bobbing and pecking along the shore, keeping just in front of us.  Then, as a group, they all flew out to sea and circled around to land on the beach behind us.  They must have felt threatened by us, after all they are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Learn more about the Hooded Plover.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Powerful Owl

Ninox strenua

Large owl
Rounded tail
Grey-brown plumage with white barring
Off-white underside with dark, v-shaped markings
Dark grey facial disc 
Large yellow eyes
Dull yellow feet with large, sharp talons


Having been told of a Powerful Owl perched in a tree in Williamstown, we stopped by to have a look.  Sure enough, there he was, halfway up a plane tree right next to a row of parked cars.  As I was looking for the best position for a photograph, a number of locals stopped to fill me in; apparently,  this is a regular hangout for the bird.  One young man even showed me his photos of the owl .... with a possum in his huge claws.  That really wasn't something I wanted to see.   Thanks anyway.

Learn more about the Powerful Owl.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crested Pigeon

Phaps chalcoptera

Grey-brown plumage
Grey head with slender, black crest on top
Red-orange eyes with pink-red ring around them 
Black striped wings with bronze visible
Colourful areas of brown, purple, blue and green on primaries

Learn more about the Crested Pigeon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Red-rumped Parrot

Psephotus haematonotus

Moderate sized parrot
      Bright emerald-green plumage
      Yellow underparts
      Red rump
      Blue highlights on wings and upper back
     Olive-green plumage
     Pale yellow underparts
     Green rump
     Blue-black wingtips

This was another of my sightings at the Water Treatment Plant in Werribee. This colorful bird struck some very nice poses for me while I was photographing him.  And they say that cooperative behaviors are rare in the animal kingdom!

Learn more about the Red-rumped Parrot.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Striated Fieldwren

Calamanthus fuliginosus

Small, stocky bird
Sandy-brown upperparts with dark streaks
Creamy-yellow underparts with dark streaks
Tail usually cocked upwards
White eyebrow

When we saw this bird at the Water Treatment Plant in Werribee, the Melbournian with me got quite excited.  I assume that means that these birds are little seen. What I have since discovered though is that they are also little studied.  I had a heck of a time finding anything about them on-line.

Learn more about the Striated Fieldwren.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chestnut Teal

Anas castanea


Small dabbling duck 
Red eyes
Slate grey bill
Green speculum bordered by white stripes
Dark underwing   
     Green head
     Dark brown upper body and wings
     Chestnut flanks, breast and belly
     Black undertail with white patch
     Mottled brown and grey plumage
     Pale throat, streaked with brown 
     Dark brown eye stripe

These pictures were taken at Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.  If you're wondering whether all that algae is harmful to the ducks, you're not alone.  Looking around on the internet, I discovered that although some algae is a must for a healthy pond, other types are not so good.  Hopefully, this is one of the good ones.

Learn more about the Chestnut Teal.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Australian Pelican

Pelecanus conspicillatus

Water Treatment Plant
Medium-sized pelican
Very large bill 
Mainly white plumage
Black primaries
White panel on upper wing 
White V on rump
     Pale pink bill and pouch
     Pale yellow eyering
    Orange orbital skin and bill
    Color of pouch varies 
          -- dark blue, pink, scarlet

 I love the Latin name of this bird. It reminds me of the old Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons, where they were given fictitious Latin names like Disappearialis quickius and Apetitius giganticus. Pelecanus conspicillatus indeed!

 Learn more about the Australian Pelican.