Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 253 - Grey-crowned Babbler

This week, I have gone back to the pictures I took during my trip to the Northern Territory at the end of 2016.

On the last but one night of the trip we stayed at Pine Creek - a town with a population of less than 700, that still manages to be the fourth largest town on the main road from Darwin to Alice Springs. In the Northern Territory the town are (generally) small and the distances (inevitably) large.

It comes as a bit of a shock to realise that the sports oval in Pine Creek is a bit of a birding hot spot.  There was at least one other group of birders there at the same time as us - we must have made up about 2% of the towns population that night!

One of the birds we had come to see was the Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis).  This is a species in rapid decline in SE Australia - so it was great to encounter a group of the almost as soon as we walked on to the sports oval.  These birds often move around in groups - which accounts for one of their other common names - Happy Family.  While I can find no evidence to support this claim, I like to think that the frequent contact calls that these bird make may have something to do with them being called Babblers.  As far as I can tell, these bird are of the sub-species rubeculus - with the rufous breast and the location being the main reasons for this identification.










As ever, to join in with WBW just click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  SM

22 comments:

Brian King said...

What a gorgeous bird! The markings are fantastic!

Phil Slade said...

Those are rather nice Stewart. When I saw the "babbler" header i think I expected one of those hard to ID brown jobs from India or SE Asia. But just the opposite.

Beth said...

Striking mask on the bird's face. I think anything named babbler must have an interesting voice!

Jo said...

Amazing bird, Stewart, I love the grey crown and the curved bill. Thanks for sharing and also for hosting this meme. I'll link up tomorrow (Wednesday). Greetings Jo

Diane S said...

Fabulous photos you have done a good job. Cheers Diane

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, your Babbler is a handsome bird. It is sad to hear of any bird being in decline. Your photos are wonderful. Great sighting and captures. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

Gordon said...

They are really smart birds Stewart, they remind me a bit of the Brown Thrasher in America, mainly because of the beak and shape.
All the best, Gordon.

Gordon said...

They are really smart birds Stewart, they remind me a bit of the Brown Thrasher in America, mainly because of the beak and shape.
All the best, Gordon.

NatureFootstep said...

to Babble in Swedish means to talk a lot without saying anything :)
A bird I did not see. :)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

oh...the joy the Internet gives us...the animals we'd otherwise never see. Thank you. :)

Andrea Priebe said...

I prefer to call them the Communicators as that is, I'm sure, what they are intending to do. A Babbler is someone (like Trump) whose mouth goes constantly with nothing constructive to say. They have a bit of a sinister look about them, but all in all they are actually an attractive bird. Very nice find, Stewart. Why do you think they are endangered? It is truly sad how many species just seem to disappear without anyone taking notice. Well, my boring weeks plod on as my camera is still in the shop. I can't imagine what they would have to do that would take this long ... sigh :( Have a great week, Stewart and I love the color of your kids hair :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Frank Boxell said...

Those colourful markings make it much easier to ID than some other Babblers.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Beautiful birds. It is sad that they are in decline. They must not be able to cope with some change in their habitat-- my guess is that human activities have something to do with it. Our Passenger Pigeons were also highly social and this trait contributed to their downfall.

Sue (this n that) said...

Nice to see them thriving up there. Lovely photos :D)

Gayle - venturesinphotos said...

Nice bird. Hope they make a comeback. The series brought a gymnast on a balance beam to my mind.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) Sad news that this bird is in decline. It's an attractive bird, with distinctive markings. I hope that at least where you saw them they continue to thrive.

Missy George said...

Pretty bird..I hope it makes a comeback..Nice markings..I hope you are having a good week..

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Handsome bird! I hope the decline is reversed. Thank you for hosting, as always.

A Quiet Corner said...

Although I have never heard of a "Babbler" before in the bird world, I believe this species is a sight to remember, Stewart!!!...:)JP

A Colorful World said...

Great surprise birding spot! And such a beautiful bird!

Linda said...

Handsome birds!

June Caedmon said...

Great captures, Stewart! Except for their coloring, they look and act similar to our mockingbirds. Babbler is an apt description! Have a great weekend!