Ian’s Bird of the Week – Princess Parrot – Reworked

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Princess Parrot ~ by Ian Montgomery
Newsletter ~ 10/1/15

Lee’s Update:  Not sure what happened because I was seeing it okay on PC and smartphone. Anyway, it is now back to the way I normally add the photos back in.

A late bird of the week I regret, but I’ve been planning and designing a major overhaul to the website to the exclusion of almost everything else. The website is showing its age as I designed it in a pre-smart phone and pre-tablet era – seems like a long time ago now – for fixed, landscape screens. About 30% of the birdway website traffic comes from such devices now, so it’s an issue I can no longer ignore. Anyway, I’ll say a bit more about that later and provide an example of the new layout.

The other revision taking place is that until now I’ve only included my own photos, so Birdway has been synonymous with Ian Montgomery. The rationale was that it was a showcase for my work – some would say a monument to my ego, smile. Maybe I’m satisfied at having reached 1500 species globally and 700 Australian ones so it’s time to change. Birdway will now aim to provide the best range of publishable quality bird photos. Initially the emphasis will be on Australian ones, but later I may extend this to Australasian one. For manageability, I’m starting by invitation only but feel free to register your interest by email ian@birdway.com.au.

So, here is a landmark bird of the week: these lovely photos of the gorgeous and elusive Princess Parrot were taken by my friend Jenny Spry, a birder and photographer well-known in Australian birding circles. She leaves no stone unturned and no bush or remote island unchecked in a passionate search for the unusual and has one of the longest Australian life lists (aiming for 800!).Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) by Jenny Spry The Princess Parrot is elusive for at least two reason. The first is that it’s a bird of very remote parts of arid Australia accessible only with considerable difficulty, e.g. the Canning Stock Route. The other is that its population and range varies greatly with rainfall. In poor seasons it is almost impossible to find, but in good season the population irrupts and it can appear in more accessible locations, perhaps I should say slightly less inaccessible ones, in inland eastern Western Australia, the southwestern Northern Territory and northwestern South Australia. The core breeding range is thought to be around Tobin Lake and in the Great Victoria Desert, both in eastern Western Australia.

Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) by Jenny Spry It is one of three beautiful, long-tailed, medium sized (length 34-46cm/13-18in) parrots belonging to the endemic Australian genus. Polytelis. The others are the Superb Parrot of New South Wales and northern Victoria and the Regent Parrot  which occurs in two separate populations, one in southwestern New South Wales, northeastern Victoria and eastern South Australia and the other in southern Western Australia. All three species are uncommon: the Princess is classed as Near-Threatenedand the Superb as Vulnerable, while the Regent is uncommon in the east and declining in the west. Male Princess Parrots, first two photos, have longer tails and brighter colours than females (third photo).

Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) © Jenny Spry

Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) © Jenny Spry

Returning to the subject of website design in a mobile world, I’ve used the Princess Parrot as the first species in the new design and it was posted to the birdway website this morning. The changes will be more obvious on smart phones and tablets, but on computers you’ll notice that the thumbnails have moved from a vertical column on the left to a horizontal row on the bottom and the information about the photo has moved from left to right. You’ll also see a button at top right which reveals – and hides – the main navigation menu as vertical column which slides the rest of the page to the right. Previous, this menu didn’t appear on the pages of individual species, only – as a row of horizontal buttons at the top – on the family pages and the ten main topic pages to which these button link.
Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) by IanThe fourth and fifth images are screen shots from my iPhone. The fourth shows a page in landscape orientation. The image shrinks to fit the screen width and you can see the rest of the page by scrolling up and down. Note that the photo information is still on the left. The fifth, shows the page in vertical orientation with the navigation menu showing as a grey column on the left. The photo information has dropped below the image and both the menu column and the main window are scrollable independently.
Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) by Ian
These pages are, of course, still prototypes and there will be more changes before I apply it more generally. I’ve tested it only using the Apple browser Safari on a Mac, an iPad and an iPhone. I’d be very grateful if you could try it out on different platforms (Windows and Android particularly) and in different browsers (Safari, Windows Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Mozilla are the most important) and report back to me with any problems: http://birdway.com.au/psittacidae/princess_parrot/index.htm.

I’ve needed to use JavaScript to show and hide the side menu, so you won’t be able to see if yet if JavaScript isn’t available. If it isn’t you’ll get a message in orange instead of the script generated ian@birdway.com.au email address to tell you that and to write to ‘ian’ (at symbol) ‘birdway.com.au’ instead. I will be adding code so that the side menu is permanently visible if JavaScript isn’t enabled, but it is something of an internet standard these day and I want to be able to hide it to make more space available on small screens.

On the subject of books, the Diary of a Bird Photographer has sold about 50 copies in the first month, and review are beginning to appear (below on the Apple store) I’m hugely grateful to those who have done reviews and would love it if some of you would. I think there were problems posting review to the Apple store, but these seem to have been fixed. If that is your experience let me know ian@birdway.com.au and if your very patient, try again. Thank you.
Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) by Ian
These images should link to the relevant pages on the Birdway site.

Ian's Book

Ian’s Book

Where To Find Birds - Ian

Greetings
Ian
**************************************************

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland: iTunes; Google Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au
*******************************


Lee’s Addition:

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. (Mark 6:31 KJV)

Very interesting Parrot and apparently quite a change to Ian’s Site at Birdway. I’ll be checking on permission for further usage of his guest photographer. For now, I trust using this latest newsletter of his is under his permission to use.

What a beauty this parrot reveals. Subtle in colors, but very attractive.

See:

Ian’s Bird of the Week
Ian’s Birdway Website
His Parrot Family
Psittacidae – African and New World Parrots
Psittaculidae – Old World Parrots

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