Saturday, May 15, 2010

Parrot Identification

Today I attended a workshop in Goolwa. On the way I spotted a raptor sitting in a pine tree. It was one of the more common Australian raptors, a Whistling Kite. Outside the church hall where the workshop was held was a large flowering eucalypt. It was full of New Holland Honeyeaters. The workshop was hosted by the Department for Environment and Heritage, and concerned the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. This parrot is on the verge of extinction with only 50 birds left in the wild (all of which breed at one site in Tasmania)and approximately 200 in captivity. The reintroduction of captive birds at a second site in Tasmania has been suspended as it was not successful. You can read more about the OBP here. The workshop was held to help people identify OBP from the other three common similar species in the area, Elegant Parrot, Rock Parrot and Blue-winged Parrot in preparation for the first of three winter surveys. After the workshop, we all went to Hindmarsh Island to look for parrots. OBP has been recorded here in the past, but we were not expecting to see any and were not disappointed. Hindmarsh Island is at the northern end of the Coorong National Park, and the area we visited was an area of saltmarsh and Samphire. We found at least five Rock Parrots here, and I managed a few shots, but they are highly cropped, so apologies for the quality. There were also a few Singing Honeyeaters here. A short distance away we also saw some Elegant Parrots. They were too far away to be photographed, so here is one I photographed a couple of years ago. Finally, on the way home I spotted an Australian Black-shouldered Kite, and as I watched he caught some prey, which the female then took from him. I have not seen this behaviour in Black-shouldered Kites before. Oh, when I said we didn't see an OBP, I was not quite telling the whole truth, as we did see one..............


  1. Lovely post Tony with some stunning images ,I think the Kite sequence is superb.

  2. I agree iwth Monts - the kite sequence is very special, a well-orchestrated passing of the baton.

  3. Great post Tony, very interesting about the OBP workshop. How special to be involved with that! The Kite sequence is just stunning. You must've been chuffed to get that! (-: I think you should name that OBP Ollie!

  4. Thanks everyone, yes, it was a great moment to catch.

    What is it with you girls, wanting to name everything........Actually, his name IS Ollie, very perceptive of you Jenny.

  5. gday tony ,
    great shots of the kites mate.
    Males will often give up food to females if they have young ,should of kept an eye on her and you might of been rewarded with some great shots of her at the nest.

    Tim Rogers