Two weeks ago my post featured the New Zealand Kea, which was voted as New Zealand’s Most Popular Bird of the Year 2017. Guardian news and Birdlife Australia recently ran a survey in Australia to find their most popular bird, and a surprising result, the Australian Magpie won first place. I will showcase the first seven place getters, all of which I have featured in my blog from time to time.
This bird is known for its beautiful song, but during nesting season, is known to Australians, to perform ferocious attacks on many who pass by its nesting tree. It is one of our most commonly seen birds on the east and southern coast regions. The Australian Magpie has 5 subspecies or races, of which the most common, the eastern black-backed magpie is featured above.
To keep it simple there are four subspecies of note: Black-backed (eastern), White-backed (southern), Tasmanian and Western, of which I have pictured below from different parts of Australia.
The Australian White Ibis surprisingly gained second place being Sydney’s ‘bin chicken’, always ratting through garbage bins when it should be pressing its beak into mudflats at low tide or grassy fields.
The Laughing Kookaburra gained third place, and for many years was Australia’s trade mark in the early years of film. Many of our early movies started with the laughing Kookaburras calling. This is always a very popular bird, especially to tourists from other countries. I remember last year an American tourist asked me where the Kookaburra was in the Australian bird enclosure, and I told him to go outside the enclosure and he would find one sitting on a sign post near the pathway, he was so delighted when he found it there, outside the zoo confines. If you check out my last weeks post you will see and hear it laughing.
Fourth place went to the Tawny Frogmouth, our unusual and very unique owl-like bird currently featured on my home page under Something Special. There are many families of this bird breeding in southern Sydney forests, and are more closely related to Nightjars rather than owls.
Our fifth place goes to the beautiful Superb Fairy-wren, which was the first place getter in the 2003 survey. From the comments I receive on my blog, this is the most popular bird to my overseas bloggers, and also I believe the most loved Australian bird because of its cute size, beautiful colours in the breeding males and agility, being often seen in gardens. The Fairy-wrens look nothing like the English Wren it was named after, and is found in several different species and subspecies, the superb being the most common, being found in south eastern Australia. It is often known as the Blue Wren, but this only refers to male with full breeding plumage, the female, juveniles and non-breeding males are common brown in appearance.
One of our most popular birds overseas and sixth place goes to our beautiful Rainbow Lorikeet with its amazing colour mix, which looked so brilliant in the afternoon sun yesterday as we sipped our wine in the courtyard. This bird is found in great numbers around the Sydney area where it breeds inside the holes of the angophora costata trees, alongside the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. We constantly hear the chatter of these birds as they feed on the flowers and nectar of the bottlebrush and grevilea bushes. They are often found in pairs as they breed for life.
So it follows with the Willy Wagtail making seventh place, being a popular fantail seen all over Australia. In fact it was often the very first bird we heard and saw on almost every trip we did throughout Australia. It is a very brave, curious and bold little bird with a beautiful song that is often confused for other birds. It gets it name from the way it flitters about moving side to side wagging its tail and fanning it at times. It is often seen catching insects on the fly.
So there it is, voted Australia’s most popular birds 2017. You can read the whole list if you have time, but seven is enough for now. This survey shows it is the birds we most commonly see around us that we tend to favour, rather than the exotic. The birds we see, know and interact with in our back yards and parks. The birds we grow up with, even the ones that attack us at times, can top the list as a favourite, which proves a well known sales perspective, that if you frequently expose the public to a product by advertising it, or by playing a song many times on radio, people will eventually come to like it and even say it is good, making it popular, when their first impression may have been quite negative, disapproving or even disinterested. In this same way, through constant media exposure, movies and television programs, our society has grown to approve and even embrace unhealthy moral and social standards, causing the breakdown and moral decay in our post Christian world. The fruit of which is beginning to be seen in the selfish, dangerous, insular and disrespectful attitudes of many of the current and especially the new generation, who are being programmed to accept many selfish or immoral standards as being normal and acceptable. These words of Jesus ring true today more than ever before, speaking of the last days of our world in which we live:
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” – Matthew 24:12
The only protection from becoming like this is to connect with God’s love through faith in Jesus, who is God’s love gift to us all. He came to earth and gave up his life to reinstate God’s love in our hearts, so we can enjoy life the way it was meant to be enjoyed, and discover the true person we were created to be. This is God’s best for us, for God is love. Connecting with God through Jesus, by trusting in him and receiving God’s forgiveness as a free gift is the beginning of a wonderful journey of transformation and rediscovery of true love.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions ” – Ephesians 2:4,5
Have a wonderful week everyone!
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