Last week I needed a walk so I went into the darker part of the rainforest beneath the thick tall tree canopy of the Royal National Park, or Nasho to us. I was hoping to complete my walk before the the cloudy windy weather set in, but it came earlier than predicted, and suddenly dark the forest became. I did not see many birds on this occasion, and the photos I have featured here have all been light enhanced, so evidence of image noise will be apparent. With rainforest photos it is often unavoidable, especially when the sun is hiding. The one delightful find was to see several active White-browed Scrubwrens jumping, flitting and chattering loudly around about me, as if I was invisible. The icing on the cake was to find among them a different species we seldom see, the Yellow-throated Scrubwren (both pictured above). One little guy had an insect and was wanting to take it to its nest but would not move till I turned away, so as to keep the nest location secret.
Many of Australia’s rainforest birds spend their time foraging among the dense damp leaf litter on the dark forest floor. I would not have seen the Yellow-throated Scrubwren, and easily mistaken it for is cousin, had I not due to poor light, just taken images willy-nilly, as it was not till after post production at home that I detected the difference.
One of the features of the rainforest are the Bird’s Nest Fern, epiphytes found high up in the ancient tall straight rainforest trees, which some birds, have been known to nest in.
One of the most commonly seen birds in rainforests, the Eastern Yellow Robin will always make its presence known along the track, due to its curious nature, and the hope that as you walk you will turn up and disturb insects on the ground. I saw this guy for several minutes, but he sat in darkness, so most of my photos are of very poor quality. This Robin feeds primarily from the ground, diving on insects and worms, then returning with them to the same branch. This guy watched me from a distance, which was unusual.
This is how we usually like to see it, up close and personal. Notice its curious look…
Many of the tall rainforest trees here produce native fruits which provide food which is why most of the canopy dwelling birds, such as Top-knot Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Green Catbird and Satin Bowerbird are fruit eaters.
They follow the fruiting trees feeding high out of sight above the canopy, and are seldom seen, just the sounds of falling fruit is heard. While these birds fly frequently, most of the forest floor foragers seldom need to fly. These include the Eastern Whipbird, Bassian Thrush, Australian Logrunner and Superb Lyrebird, all of which are found in the area I was walking. Here are photos from previous walk sightings here. Note the beautiful camouflage plumage of the Bassian Thrush and Logrunner. Both these birds stand perfectly still when they sense being observed, and so blend in well with their surroundings. Data from research on rainforests has stated that the foraging of Lyrebirds and other forest floor dwellers contributes to prevention of bushfires in forests they inhabit.
The Wonga Pigeon is an exception to the other fruit eating pigeons in that it tends to forage on the forest floor similar to the other floor foragers, eating insects and fallen fruit. If you listened to my Avian Aria last week, this bird was the very first bird calling.
There are other birds that feed above rain forest canopy which include the Sulphur-crested and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, but do not live in the forest, which is why they are not included. The featured birds above are the most common residents I see on my walks. The only way they can be noticed is usually by their call. If they remain silent you could walk through the forest and easily miss them as they are all good at camouflage and remaining still when observed. One unique bird which is heard loudly calling here, as it ascends the tree, and inhabits both lower and upper canopy areas, is the White-throated Treecreeper. Most untrained observers can never detect it, as it blends into the bark of the dark tree, and usually climbs on the dark side of the tree. This is a female, noted because of the orange ear marking.
Of the lower canopy feeders the Lewins Honeyeater (also a fruit and nectar eater) is the most common, along with the Scrubwrens (featured earlier) and the Brown Gerygone (featured last post).
For those who listened to my Avian Aria last post and tried guessing the bird calls click here for the answers.
I congratulate Sue from My Wild Australia blog for getting closest to the answer, well done Sue ! Check out Sue’s blog where she has recently been featuring beautiful and interesting birds and places in Tasmania.
Have a wonderful week and remember the perfect gift for your loved ones, to encourage them in birdwatching is only a few clicks away.
The encouraging news is that my next book is now with the publisher and on course for an early 2021 release.
A Big Thank You to the many loyal blog followers who have already purchased the book, and shared how they have enjoyed it. You can also read some of their reviews at the foot of the purchase page.
As mentioned above, one of the challenges of birding in rainforests is poor light, and the way birds either hide on the forest floor beneath bushes and palms or high up in and above the canopy, both very dark places for observation, even more so on an overcast day. Birds tend to move about more and call frequently when the weather is crisp, warm and sunny, with no more than a slight breeze. This enables the birds to see the colour of blossom and source their food more easily, communicating their whereabouts as they go. Birds tend to be much quieter and less detectable in very hot, windy or rainy weather. This is why we see less bird activity in the middle of the day during Summer months. Singing and moving about burns energy which creates heat, so many birds rest in shade and are quieter in the heat of the day, as was featured in my recent post. It is wise to conserve one’s energy and work with the current conditions or circumstances rather than angrily react against them, because they do not fulfill our immediate expectations.
Peace and contentment come from being able to appreciate and adjust to changing circumstances, just as the birds do and demonstrate so well. Character growth comes with challenges in life. A CEO of a very large successful company had a sign above his head, which said: “There is no such thing as problems or failures, only challenges and opportunities.” This immediately resets our attitude, re framing our mindset and placing us on a positive path to accept and work with the difficult aspects of our lives, presenting opportunities to learn and invent new ways and skills to adapt and achieve our goals.
“ I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippins 4:11-13 (NIV)
“Do not be angry and frustrated. Do not fret. That only leads to trouble.” – Psalms 37:8 (NET)
W. A. Hewson (Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy).
‘To introduce people to our unique Australian birds,
‘So we can learn from them how to live a healthy and happy life.’
NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.