Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 74 - Magpie-lark

OK, lets get this over and done with - the Magpie-lark is neither a magpie nor a lark! Which should come as no surprise to anybody!

 I suppose that the Magpie bit makes sense - its black and white after all - but the "lark" bit is a mystery.

The naming of this bird does not get any clearer when you delve into its scientific name: Grallina cyanoleuca - which means blue and white stilt walker.  The stilt walker is due to the birds long(ish) legs and the blue is due to the sheen on the birds black feathers, which can sometimes look blue.  I remain unconvinced by this!

A week or so ago I found this party of young Magpie-larks begging for food from their over-worked parents.  (At this time of year I know how they feel!!)

These birds build a completely exposed mud nest on a branch and I not sure that these birds had long left the nest.




This last shot is much older.  It was taken on a beach at Lorne - which is not really where I would expect to see one of these birds.  It appears to be very interested in an apple core!


I also like the mottled reflection in the water on the sand.

Now its over to you.  Click on the link and off you go.  If you would like to give me an early  Christmas present for running WBW, then consider turning off word verification if you still have it on!

SM

49 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

really cool looking birds! i like black and white birds of any kind, it seems. since i've never seen a magpie, a lark, or a magpie-lark in person, i'll just enjoy your photos. :)

TexWisGirl said...

and i'm with you on the word ver. must be heck on a linky host. :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

so it's a blue stilt magpie?!!! [kidding] None the less, they're very attractive

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

This is a neat looking bird regardless of whatever name we choose to give to it.

Sylvia K said...

Love your birds for the day, Stewart!! Beautiful!! Great captures for the day!! Hope your week is going well!!

Karen said...

They are pretty birds! Your shots are fabulous Stewart with the blue and green background. Really makes the birds stand out!

Andrea said...

I glanced at the pictures before I read your blurb and recognized the food begging posture right away. Great catch, Stewart, and the whole family of fledglings together are adorable. I also like the reflection picture (you should post it on Sunday Reflections). Do these birds have a song? If so perhaps it is like the song of the Lark. Surely someone had some reason for naming them that ... Somehow you always have fun with your posts which makes it all the more enjoyable.

Andrea
P.S. I don't know how old your son is, but wait umtil he reaches the early teens and has that last growth spurt ... you will be stunned:)Both of your children a re beautiful ...

Lea said...

Very pretty bird, and great reflection photo!
When I was a little kid I remember a teacher explaining that when it is day on one side of the world, it is night on the other. And she tried to explain the International Date Line, but it was a weird idea for a little kid to try to understand.
So even though is it still Tuesday here, Happy Wild Bird Wednesday!
Lea

Phil Slade said...

It's another of your smart looking B&W birds Stewart. They are so photogenic with that extra bit of blue topping up the black and white. As "larks" I would expect them to nest on the ground too, unless they have a lark like song?

Thanks for the hosting again. Phil.

lindaakacraftygardener said...

great magpie photos ... sorry about the captcha that I have on my site, it isn't as bad a Blogger word verification, but it does stop hundreds of spam comments a day ... so it has to stay

Jo said...

I spied a tinge of blue on the back of one bird in the first image. Great shots of begging youngsters! Hope you're having a great day. Greetings, Jo (East Africa)

stiefbeen said...

Stewart die open bekkie,s zijn geweldig.

Sharon Wagner said...

The refection is nice. They deserve a new name though. How about majestic magpie at least.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful bird, whatever the name. I swear I can almost hear those baby birds.

Mama Zen said...

Cute little babies!

Carletta said...

They make quite a lovely statement with their black and white wardrobe against the blue and green background.
I too like the sand reflection.
Lovely shots Stewart!

I can't believe some folks still have the word verification after all this time. :(

Chris Rohrer said...

I've always wondered how some birds get their names. Most of them make sense but there are others, I just scratch my head. These are very interesting birds. I like the color pattern on these birds. Beauties for sure!!

Gunilla Bäck said...

A beautiful bird even if the name doesn't seem to be logical in any way.

EG CameraGirl said...

I think they're good-looking birds even if their name is a bit odd. ;)

edenhills said...

Beautiful birds and your shots are wonderful!

Andrew Fulton said...

Beautiful birds Stewart...

mick said...

Hmm! Names?? And you never even mentioned the common name of "Pee Wee"! Great photos and the reflection too!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Lovely bird.. Cheers..

Carole M. said...

the young ones look beautifully pristine

Gordon said...

Interesting post Stewart, and a very smart bird.
All the best Gordon.

DIMI said...

Wonderful pictures Stewart!!Lovely birds!!Thank you for your visit!!!Have a nice day!!
Dimi...

eileeninmd said...

I love seeing the young birds begging for their food. Your Magpie-Lark is a beautiful bird. Great shots, thanks for hosting. Have a happy week!

Faye said...

I'm especially fond of black and white dogs--and now birds as well. Especially like when you see the flashes of white on "under wing/carriage" when in flight.

Like the simplicity of your archive photo, especially the detail of the reflection.

bailey-road.com said...

Strikingly handsome bird!

Connie Smiley said...

Great shots, Stewart! That must have been quite a sight.

Pallavi said...

They do look beautiful perched on the branch . The last picture with the reflections is splendid Stewart :)

Nora at Island Rambles said...

What a strange but pretty bird...a combo bird, magpie-lark. Nice. Good photos also.

Small City Scenes said...

Interesting looking birds and I love your comments. Bird children must not be too different from humans. haha
MB

Rebecca said...

Great photos - very vocal appearing birds! Thanks for hosting. :)

Brian King said...

They're very striking birds! Nice color combo. I had to laugh at the name...not sure why they'd use two names neither of which apply.

Our photos said...

The pictures are wonderful!

Russell Jenkins said...

Nice informative post. We had these nesting in our backyard for a few years. I can still hear their calls in my head.

Irma said...

Beautiful birds, and your shots are wonderful, Stewart!

Kerri Farley said...

He sure is a pretty bird!!!

Babs Helferich said...

super schöne Fotos :)
Viele Grüsse Babs

Montanagirl said...

Their B&W coloring is very striking, but somehow the name Magpie/Lark just doesn't seem to fit. Our Magpies are big birds, with a long rudder. lol

birdybrained said...

Sweet looking birds! Very interesting to look at. I wish you a good week!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Stewert. I love this little bird. It took my ages to work out the difference between male, female and the young of them but my granddaughter was able to do it quicker!!

Esther Joy said...

Your magpies appear to be having quite the conversations!

babsjeheron said...

Adorable nestlings, and great photos. What did they sound like, incessantly crying away? And what a curious name they have.

bettyl-NZ said...

I love these guys!

pattisjarrett said...

Such cute little ones! They do appear to be demanding. That is a neat reflection in the last shot.

Pat Tillett said...

Whatever they are, they are very handsome! Very nice photos Stewart.

Pat Tillett said...
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