One of the great joys of birding is the surprises it brings of finding birds that you did not expect to find in places unexpected. Because birds are able to fly and relocate with ease, they can drop in to almost anywhere in search of food or on their way to a better habitat. A portion of forest, park or reserve today may be quietly hosting a rare or unusual bird without the knowledge of the local population.
My simple post this week, as we prepare to leave for our much needed holiday, is this male Rose Robin I found at the end of a seemingly fruitless walk in my favorite reserve. As I have shared previously, the extended el neno drought and extremely hot long summer had sent many birds away, but after recent rain some are returning. This little fellow had been seen many months ago in the area where I found him again, when he surprisingly appeared last Wednesday. He was very quiet, and could easily have been missed but he flew in front of me and landed for half a minute with his bright red chest shining all so brightly.
He seemed to want to turn away from me and was not afraid of my presence. Australia is blessed with about 15 different species of Robin, and with Robyn being my wife’s name and the name of several of her close friends, it is a popular bird. We have 5 species of Robin with different shades of red/orange/pink other than Rose there is Pink, Flame, Scarlet and Red-capped. When viewed from behind it is difficult to know what specie they are.
The chest and frontal coloring and where the colour starts and finishes all assist in correctly specifying the Robin. I would occasionally wrongly specify these birds when I first started birding because I did not pay attention to detail, but that is one of features of learning the birds, the more we come to know them the more we are able to go back to our photos and correct any discrepant labeling.
As you can see above, they are not very large birds. They are basically small insectivorous territorial non migratory perennials, as well they eat eat grubs and worms they may uncover. The female lacks the bright red chest and looks quite plain brown without the red. Checkout my website for more birding info at aussiebirder.com
This book is a wonderful Christmas or Birthday present for a preteen, or anyone who loves birds, or whom you may introduce Australian birds to. At a bargain price much cheaper than the book shops you can buy it here online from my website. Read more at my birdbook page. Here is a promotional video for National Parks shops.
The verses that inspired me to write the book, and as I I have shared in many of my talks , there is evidence to support that Jesus himself was a birder, and watched and studied birds.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at [study intently] the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matthew 6:25-34
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