I had forgotten what it was like in Australia waking up to such distinctive bird calls. Those which I had listened to my entire childhood, but only recently paid attention to. The earliest birds are the kookaburras (click here for post) with their loud and projecting laughs, mocking the sun as it rises. They wake the cockatoos, who show their distain with long and piercing screeches. Next are the large flocks of rainbow lorikeets (in the photo) which can be heard having territorial squabbles across the trees with their sharp and angry chirps. They are one of Australia’s most colorful birds, and like other parrots, they know how to be noisy! They mostly travel in pairs, and once paired will be monogamous for life. When feeding in a flock, the male will threateningly hop around his partner while she feeds to make sure no other birds interrupt her meal. They eat fruit, pollen and nectar, mostly from native Australian trees and shrubs such as the eucalyptus, and the bottle brush (Callistemon) seen in this photo. It’s hard to be angry about being woken up early when the birds are as pretty as these ones!
For those of you wondering why my blog has been quiet lately, I have been on vacation to my home country of Australia. So on my return, I thought it fitting to share with you some photos I took along the way. Todays flower is from the eucalyptus tree. There are many varieties of these beautiful trees and shrubs and most are native to Australia. They play a vital role in Australia’s natural environment and are found abundantly throughout the country, the only major environment they do not inhabit is Australia’s rainforests. Interestingly they release biochemicals which can influence the growth, reproduction and survival of other organisms, and thus inhibit other plant species growing nearby (this is called allelopathy). Planting these trees and shrubs in your yard are a great way to encourage Australian wildlife to visit your garden, as they attract and support a multitude of Australian wildlife. The most well known eucalyptus eater is the koala, but they also attract cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets and other parrots, gliders and possums. The flowers alone are beautiful to photograph, and even once they fall off, the remaining gum nuts still make for interesting subjects (seen in the photo below). Happy weekend everyone, its a long one in the USA… enjoy!