Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 102 - Crested Shrike-Tit

One of the birding - and photographic - highlights of my recent trip to Phillip Island was to get great views of a pair of Crested Shrike-Tits.  This is a bird I have seen on less than half a dozen previous occasions - all of them in a pre-digital age!

The female was a lot less bold then the male, and rarely came within camera range.  On the other hand the male was as bold as brass (as my mum would have said).

As you can see the Crested Shrike-Tit is a cracking looking bird - and it's name is that classic combination of half remembered names of other birds and spurious relations to others.  There are three distinct populations of this bird, and this one is a member of the south eastern group, which is the only part of Australia where it is considered "common".  I have to say I would beg to differ on that assessment!

Its formal name - Falcunculus frontatus - actually refers to a "small falcon with a forehead", which is  due to its hooked beak and crest.

This is a robust looking bird the reaches a maximum size of 19cm - and as you can imagine I was rather excited when I saw them.




Now, once more, it's over to you!  Click on the button below and off you go!


55 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

really, REALLY cool bird! like 3 or 4 birds in one! :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Stunning...what gorgeous colors and markings!!

Andrea Priebe said...

A Falcon he is not, but he can hold his own just being a Tit. A beautiful Tit at that. Very interesting bird ... could it be that there was a nest that he was protecting and that is why he was so bold and she was hanging back? You have such wonderful birds in Australia ... I can't wait to get over there sometime in what's left of my lifetime:) Great post, Stewart ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful bird! Like Anni, I do love the colors and markings, too!

Frank said...

With that hooked, heavy bill it would be difficult to confuse it with any other Tit species.

Cracking pics Stewart. I can see why you were delighted to capture one at last.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's an adorable bird. Does it do any of the shrike things the ones we've seen on the desert in CA ... ? They impale their food .

Gunilla Bäck said...

A very handsome bird with beautiful colours.

Jo said...

That's a striking bird, for sure. Reminds me a little of our African Paradise Flycatcher. We're in the middle of winter here in Tanzania and although it's not at all cold, the environs are dirt brown and birds are a bit scarce. Nevertheless, we still manage to see them so I'll link my post to your meme tomorrow (Wednesday) Greetings Jo

Felicia said...

Wow this is one handsome bird.

Wish I had more bird photos to share, but I don't.

Breathtaking said...

Wonderful captures! I didn't know this very striking bird, but what a beauty.

janiceadcock said...

What a beautiful bird! Have a great week.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Stewart I am glad on this occasion you managed to get good shots of this little bird. Thanks for hosting. Have a great week.

Sharon Wagner said...

He is striking. What a find.

Andrew Fulton said...

Lovely little birds to see...

Sikora Modraszka said...

Your blog is amazing.Photos are very great.

Ela said...

Great captured beautiful bird !
Greetings !

Phil Slade said...

Now that is unusual. A little like our harmless and garden living Great Tit but with a shrike bill for sure. One of those would liven up our garden birding Stewart.

Thanks for the link-up once again.

Kristi Bowman said...

What a handsome bird!!!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

they are gorgeous

Linda W. said...

Wow - cool looking bird! Nice photos.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, cool bird! Is the Crested Skrike-Tit , similar to the Shrike we see here. They are mean birds.. It is a beautiful bird. Awesome photos! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Bob Bushell said...

I think it is our Great Tit, or nearly. Fantastic photos Stewart.

maryaustria said...

A beautiful bird! Gorgeous photos!

Brian King said...

I've never heard of this one. What a cool looking bird! Great beak and unique color combo!

Neil said...

Well done on the Tit not an easy bird to photograph.

Susan said...

A smashing bird. He's got good solid legs for his size I'm thinking.
Love your Mum's expression - haven't heard that one for a long time (must remember to use it to drive the kids nuts once more - ha ha).
Hope you set the powers-to-be right about his range of territory. They rely on persons with your range of knowledge.
There, that's my 2 cents' worth - cheers now Stewart and thank you as always for your delightful blog :D)

Carole M. said...

you picked up such great photos of it too Stewart. What a treat not only to see it clearly, but to also get those wonderful photographs to share; they're a fantastic looking bird

Small City Scenes said...

What a strange looking bird. Looks like two in one. Beautiful though. We have Northern Shrikes here but a different species altogether. MB

Arija said...

Congratulations Stewart! Great shots of this little beauty with it's perfect seed cracking beak and great colour combination. I still live in hope of seeing one.

Mama Zen said...

He's a beauty!

Karen said...

Certainly not a common looking bird! Excellent shots Stewrat!

Marie said...

It's a wonderful bird! I like his crest. Very colorful. For some reason my post appeared below my last one on my blog so I hope people will realize it's my most recent post...and of course, my WBW post!

Chris Rohrer said...

Exotic, strange and a cut and paste of several different birds into one! Cool!

orchid Miyako said...

Magnificently beautiful bird and photographs ♡♡♡ I bought a new camera several days ago (not SLR,haha), I wish I could learn how to handle camera more(^^;)
Thank you very much for hosting, Stewart.

Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Irma said...

Very beautiful photos, Stewart.
My favorite is the first picture.

cobie en bas van Es said...

wat een heerlijke momenten,vooral de eerste het is net of het takje het gaat begeven.

Minoru Saito said...

Hi! Very beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Cromer said...

WOW, they are striking looking birds. They beak is really Shrike like and yet their bodies looked like Coal Tits, if I have my birds right. Very Cool Stewart!

Roan said...

That is one beautiful bird!

Christian Perrin said...

I'm actually a little envious of these shots, Stewart! I had one of these birds in a shrub nearby a few months ago and could not get very good photos at all thanks to the dim forest lighting and the restlessness of the bird. Well done on these photos!

I agree with your 'common' query - I don't find this bird to be numerous at all in South-east QLD. It seems very strict about only living in old growth forest, and unfortunately, that kind of habitat is not common anymore either!

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Fantastic shots of unique bird!
This bird really looks like as few bird species in one :-).
Greetings from Poland

LadyD Piano said...

Love their little faces and sleek lines.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Remarkable bird and interesting info. Working from iPhone with poor connection.

Adam Jones said...

Looks of similar size and colouration to our Great Tit.

Phyllis Oller said...

He certainly does look like a falcon,thanks for sharing! Phyllis

babsjeheron said...

Striking bird, Stewart, and your first photo is outstanding! The bird's name sure is a mouthful, very quaint. I like it.

pattisjarrett said...

That's quite an amazing bird. I'm glad it showed up again--in the "digital" age!

A Quiet Corner said...

What a gorgeous bird, Stewart! ...:)JP

A Quiet Corner said...

Stewart, I had to link up twice...you'll see why!!!...:)JP

bailey-road.com said...

Gorgeous bird!

amanda | wildly simple said...

That's a dandy bird! Impressive photos, Stewart. I'm always curious about your birding shots, roughly what measure of zoom you use.
They sure give us fantastic views of some incredible birds.

Ian Smissen said...

Great shots Stewart - every time I see these birds, they are silhouettes in the top branches.

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ladyfi said...

Stunning shots.

Pat Tillett said...

It's kind of like a hodge-podge of several birds. It's beautiful.
Great find Stewart.