Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Confusing Aussie birds

Many Australian bird species were discovered and named by European naturalists and explorers, and were therefore named after more familiar species. This gives rise to some very odd bird names here in Australia. One of my favourite families are the Quail-thrushes. This male Chestnut Quail-thrush was photographed at Birds Australia's Gluepot Reserve in the riverland mallee area about 300Km (180 miles) north east of Adelaide The Grey Shrike-thrush is a great songster, and responds readily if you imitate its fluty whistles. Magpie-lark is one of the most common birds, certainly seen every day, and frequently flies and pecks at its own reflection in windows and car mirrors. The horizontal eyestripe identifies this as a male. The female has a vertical black eyestripe. Finally here is a gorgeous Red-capped Robin - not Robin at all, but a flycatcher.


  1. Great photos Tony, I recognise that first one from your calendar and I love the Red-capped Robin photo. What a fabulous bird!

  2. Thanks Jen

    I hope to get out this weekend and have something a bit more upto date to post!!

  3. ...interesting. A similar naming history has happened in the US. Our American Robin has a red breast like the European Robin, but that's where the similarities end. It's a thrush. Your Red-capped Robin is stunning!!

  4. Thanks Kelly

    Yes, lots of very colourful birds here, but you have your fair share in the US too!!