Some of you may be aware of my fondness for car parks as prime birding locations - they often provide some great birds. Another of my personal favourite locations to watch birds is around the tables of cafes on the edge of Nature Reserves or Botanical Gardens. The Olive Pink Botanic Gardens in Alice Springs proved to one of the better examples of this generally neglected habitat. Keen followers of WBW will have seen the Spotted Bower Birds last week - now I bring you another "lunch time" bird - the Grey-Crowned Babbler.
This bird - formally addressed as Pomatostomus temporalis - is one of the most amusing birds I have had the pleasure to watch. They are highly vocal, with ringing a "yahoo" being their signature call. They also move around in groups - squabbling and fighting with each other in the branches, on the ground and (in this case) in the tables in front of us.
If there was ever a single bird that could convert a person to the charms of birding it would be this one.
One of the other interesting aspects of this birds biology is its breeding strategy. They are co-operative breeders - meaning that the groups that they move around in are likely to be family groups. The dominate (parent) pair are assisted by their own offspring from previous years. This is considered to be an adaptation to the highly variable nature of the Australian climate, where we move from boom to bust in the turn of a year. In such a variable climate having some assistance in bad years helps ensure success.
Now its your turn to get involved in WBW.
So, click on the link below and off you go. Remember to visit, invite and comment.
Cheers - Stewart M (whose bad ankle is getting better by the day!)
What a lovely bird and he does look as though he would be a "babbler"! I love it and great captures for the day, Stewart, as always!!ReplyDelete
Very nice photos of another bird I never had heard of before!ReplyDelete
Beautiful pictures of that amusing bird! Yes, the birds love human food and cafe are good spots!ReplyDelete
Such a fascinating bird, great photos Stewart!ReplyDelete
A nice little one ,and a nice shot too ,NetteReplyDelete
Love the feet, bill, and head on this bird! Very striking! Apparently, they aren't shy, either.ReplyDelete
Glad you are feeling better! Interesting breeding strategy is similar to that of the Florida Scrub Jay, which also occupies a fragile habitat prone to disturbance such as fire. Working from my iPod today so I hope I linked up successfully. Did not know how to crop the image on the tiny screen.ReplyDelete
These birds are quite marvelous to look at, and I can only begin to imagine their antics as you describe so well. I really love their name too. Such fun, learning about nature from far away~ReplyDelete
Glad to hear that the ankle is healing.ReplyDelete
Yet another cool bird. I like your birding from the car strategy. We do it here in the middle of our hot summers.ReplyDelete
Wat een prachtige vogel voor mij geheel onbekend .hij heeft wel een lange kromme opvallende snavel.ReplyDelete
Another great set of pics Stewart, I particularly love the last one, with the tree trunk as contrast.ReplyDelete
All the best Gordon.
This is beautiful....love the photo you have of it in the tree!!ReplyDelete
Those of us who are inclined to babble would, of course, be drawn to a babbler bird. I speak for myself, Stewart ... nothing implied. I love this bird, the way he looks, the way I can imagine he sounds(per your description) and his audacious behavior at the table. I don't blame you for choosing those spots for your birding. How much fun is that! Thanks, Stewart ... and about Attilla ... don't you wonder what occurred to cause that layer to be harder than the others? :ReplyDelete
Andrea @ From The Sol
That eye stripe is so striking. From FindlayReplyDelete
Ay up our Stewart, that there birds a reet cracker. In fact it's gorgeous.ReplyDelete
Great photos - they are fun birds to watch.ReplyDelete
Sledovať vtáky je pekná a celkom užitočná zábava. Aj ja rada pozorujem vtáky. Vtáka na tvojich fotografiách nepoznám.ReplyDelete
Watching of birds is pretty fun and quite useful. I also like watching birds. Bird on your photographs I do not know.
what a cool looking bird! with quite the beak, too!ReplyDelete
Fascinating bird!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.ReplyDelete
Amazing to see we both shared crockery as well as birds this week Stewart..ReplyDelete
Another interesting species from down under. Far more striking head features than the Fulvous Babbler, another noisy one that I saw in Morocco.ReplyDelete
they are an attractive bird I've not seen for myself Stewart. Are they vocal/chatty amongst themselves too?ReplyDelete
ah, I re-read and you described their yahoo sounds. Answered my first question...ReplyDelete
Nice bird, Stewart. It does have an attractive head and beak. It is nice when the birds come to you, great shots! Thanks for hosting, have a happy week!ReplyDelete
A beautiful bird and sounds like a fun bird to watch. Your photos are great.ReplyDelete
HI Stewart Great bird and post. It is not Wednesday here yet so when you see my post (my Wednesday) you may laugh, as it is in keeping with your post and Andrews!!!ReplyDelete
Neat bird. That's a very impressive beak.ReplyDelete
Great photos and an interesting read! Apparently Australia has the highest number of co-operative breeders in the world for the reason that you mention, with even familiar birds like Magpies, Kookaburras and Noisy Miners adopting this strategy. I'd love to see a GCBabbler - they are all but extinct in Brisbane :(ReplyDelete
He reminds me a bit of the thrashers we have here...the name is wonderful. Whoever is in charge of bird names there has a whimsical sense of humor (is there such a person? how does that work anyway?) .ReplyDelete
What an interesting bird and post both. I can see how they would be entertaining to watch. Thank you for showing him off.ReplyDelete
That is a handsome bird!ReplyDelete
What a charming looking bird. I very much enjoyed reading about them!ReplyDelete
Love your Grey Crowned Babblers. I've got a few shots of Hall's Babblers from both Arkaroola and Wirrealpa station. Must post them sometime.ReplyDelete
Given a regular food source, all animals become opportunists, good on them too.
Great photos, Stewart! I've never seen photos of Grey Crowned Babblers, so they were very nice to see!ReplyDelete
I love the name 'Babbler'. What a fun bird to watch and listen to also. MBReplyDelete
Beautiful shots! Sounds like an interesting bird to watch.ReplyDelete
Great to see these birds on the table at a terrace
Here that happens, the chewing and sparrows do it here.
You've captured perfectly, my compliments.
I love the name and a video of his antics would have been awesome... but your captures are wonderful Stewart! Thank you for hosting. :)ReplyDelete
So beautiful and crispy pictures of a lovelly bird :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for tipping me about your WBW. I added my resent post with some beautiful swans.
Happy wednesday to you :)
I like the 'racing stripe' on his face.ReplyDelete
Great photos :)ReplyDelete
What a lovely bird!! Such a striking eye! You got some AWESOME shots!!ReplyDelete
We don't get these babblers around here, mores the pity. They sound like a fun bird to observe. Great set of photos.ReplyDelete
Wonderful birds Stewart, lovely photos!ReplyDelete
That's quite the beak! Bet it is very useful.ReplyDelete
Hi Stewart...Comical bird, but I imagine he is not so funny when he steals your lunch!!ReplyDelete
That is some beak and I like that little eye make up too!! : )
Interesting info of there life style!!
Reminds me of years ago when there where many kids in the family and they all pitched in an stayed at home until they married : )!!
They certainly look entertaining birds Stewart- very striking looking with those long legs and curved bill. It's almost as if some of these car park birds learn to play to an audience they have created for themselves. Thanks for the hosting again.ReplyDelete
Very funny and entertaining little guy! I wish you a great day!ReplyDelete
Very nice bird!!
Have a lovely day!!!
The one that you added in, wow, what a great shot. Thanks for letting us know that you added it on. Take care~ReplyDelete
o, this bird has a mean expression. But I guess it is not. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting.
Stewart - glad to the ankle is on the mend.ReplyDelete
What a great looking bird! As Ken S. mentioned, our local Florida Scrub Jay uses a similar family strategy.
Car parks may become the new national park system!
Great shots! I caught a red-headed woodpecker tonight, but couldn't get close enough to suit me.ReplyDelete
I've never seen these handsome birds before. They look to be characters.ReplyDelete
Very nice photos Stewart.