Eagles and Parrots Safe in Tennessee Fires

 Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) at Parrot Mtn by Lee

Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) at Parrot Mtn by Lee

As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; (Psalms 83:14 KJV)

As you may recall, Dan and I visited the Parrot Mountain and Garden of Eden in Gatlinburg, Tennessee this summer. There have been devastating fires up in the mountains in that area due to severe drought conditions. Many places have been destroyed in the Gatlingburg surrounding area. Dollywood, who has quite a collection of Eagles and Parrot Mountain with their Parrots were to close for comfort, but the Lord has been good to them and their keepers.

 Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) at Parrot Mtn by Lee

Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) at Parrot Mtn by Lee

“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (Psalms 50:11 KJV)

Salmon-crested (Moluccan) Cockatoo at Parrot Mountain

Parrot Mountain’s Prayer Garden

Plantain-eater at Parrot Mountain

Parrot Mountain’s Origin and Mission

Here are some of the articles you might find interesting:

Dollywood’s eagles ‘safe and sound,’ as are Parrot Mountain birds

This is from their Facebook Account:

Parrot mountain was not affected by the fires! All the birds are safe and secure! God was watching over Parrot mountain. We pray for all those who were affected by the fires. Thank you all for your concerns ! We appreciate you all and love you guys. #PrayForGatlinburg

LIST: What’s damaged, destroyed and intact From 9 News

Tennessee Wildfires

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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
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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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New Parrot Family – I.O.C. 5.3 Version

Mulga Parrot (Psephotellus varius) by Ian

Mulga Parrot (Psephotellus varius) by Ian

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: (Proverbs 24:21 KJV)

Finally have my computer and Excel back up running. I decided to start working on the new I.O.C. 5.3 version and was surprised to see that they had divided the Psittacidae – Parrots Family. Well, that family had 369 species and now the new family has been named Pittaculidae –  “Old World Parrots” with 192 parrots.

Blue-winged Parrotlet (Forpus xanthopterygius) ©WikiC

Blue-winged Parrotlet (Forpus xanthopterygius) ©WikiC

The old family, Psittacidae – African and New World Parrots has 178 avian wonders. They added two new ones to this family; the Turquoise-winged Parrolett (Forpus spengeli) and the Large-billed Parrotlet (Forpus crassirostris) that were subspecies of the Blue-winged Parrotlet family.

Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotellus chrysopterygius) by Ian

Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotellus chrysopterygius) by Ian

In the new Psittaculidae – Old World Parrots Family they changed the genus of several birds:

Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) to (Psephotellus varius)
Hooded Parrot (Psephotus dissimilis) to (Psephotellus dissimilis)
Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) to (Psephotellus chrysopterygius)
Paradise Parakeet (Psephotus pulcherrimus) to (Psephotellus pulcherrimus)

Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Parvipsitta porphyrocephala) WikiC

Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Parvipsitta porphyrocephala) WikiC

Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla) to (Parvipsitta pusilla)
Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala) to (Parvipsitta porphyrocephala)

Cardinal Lory (Pseudeos cardinalis) Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay WikiC

Cardinal Lory (Pseudeos cardinalis) Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay WikiC

Cardinal Lory (Chalcopsitta cardinalis) to (Pseudeos cardinalis)

For now, that is about as far as I have gotten with the update. That was a major reshuffle which I plan to tell about in the next blog. Stay tuned!

The PSITTACIFORMES – Parrot Order

Strigopidae – New Zealand Parrots
Cacatuidae – Cockatoos
Psittacidae – African and New World Parrots
Psittaculidae – Old World Parrots

Gideon

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Budgerigar

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Ian
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Budgerigar ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 3/3/15

Judging by the number of emails that I received about Pied Butcherbirds, iconic species are popular and there were many interesting stories about experiences with them. So here is another, perhaps globally the most familiar Australian bird. Although it’s quite common and sometimes very abundant after good rains in the drier parts of Australia, you have to go out of your way to find it. So it it’s much less well-known as a wild bird than say other iconic species like Australian Magpie and Laughing Kookaburras that turn up in backyards.

It wasn’t until after I moved to North Queensland in 2002 that I first saw them in the wild, and that was on a trip to Moorrinya National Park between Torrens Creek and Aramac, 370km southwest of Townsville. In places like that you usually see them in small flocks of maybe 10-20 in rapid undulating flight. These make sudden turns in the sunlight showing alternately green and yellow in a characteristic and delightful display of vivid, fluorescent colour.

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Ian

The sexes can be distinguished either by differences in behaviour, sometimes subtle as in the first photo with an attentive male and a bored or playing hard to get female, or less subtly as in the second photo. Her the male is concentrating seriously, and the female is rather inscrutably either in a state of bliss or thinking of the motherland. An easier way though is by the colour of the cere – the tissue surrounding the nostrils – blue in adult males, and brown in females. Juveniles have duller plumages, barred foreheads and lack the black spots on the neck.

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by IanAfter good inland rains, the population can explode and Budgerigars may be seen in flocks of thousands. When dry conditions return and seeds become scare, flocks wander far and wide in search of food. They move into areas beyond their normal range and can turn up in coastal areas such as near Townsville. The birds in the third photo were near Woodstock just south of Townsville on the way to Charters Towers and I have seen them near Bluewater.

Sometimes escaped cage birds turn up in odd places in strange colours, such as this almost completely white one near the Strand in Townsville. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the natural colours. I was in Ireland once for a family funeral in February and was birding on Dun Laoghaire pier in Dublin Bay on a very cold, dull winter’s day, when I spotted a bright yellow budgie looking very out-of-place among some roosting waders. It was a moment of great empathy and I thought ‘you and I should be back in sunny Australia’.

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by IanI’m in Melbourne at the moment to visit East Gippsland next weekend with my Victorian birding pals who know of a good site for both Greater Sooty Owls and Masked Owls (both cousins of Barn Owls) near Orbost. I haven’t seen or photographed either of these, so may I request your customary friendly support and spiritual goodwill to help us find them? It would be lovely to be able to bring at least one of them to you as the next bird of the week.

Greetings
Ian

**************************************************
Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates


Lee’s Addition:

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. (Psalms 96:3 NKJV)

Ian is correct, at least for me. The Budgerigar or “Budgie” as I was taught, was one of the first bird names I ever knew. Almost everyone I have ever seen was in a cage or aviary. Few have been pets and one was sitting on someone glasses look down into their lens. But, to see them in the wild where they live would be a great experience.

Thanks, Ian, for again sharing your adventures with us. The most I have ever seen at one time has been at Lowry Park Zoo. I’ll also be praying that Ian finds those Greater Sooty Owls and Masked Owls so that he will share them with us on another Bird of the Week.

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Lee LPZ

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Lee LPZ

Ian’s Birds of the Week

Ian’s Budgerigar Photos

Ian’s Psittacidae Family

Psittacidae – Parrots Family

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Pale-headed Rosella

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Pale-headed Rosella ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 8/24/14

The bird of the week is the Pale-headed Rosella, which I’ll get to in a second, but this is a Special Edition as Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland is at last being published. That is to say, it has been published on Google Play but not yet on the Apple iBook store. That will take a little longer as there are bureaucratic obstacles to be over come. These involve registering Birdway Pty Ltd with the US Inland Revenue and then Apple confirming the registration with the IRS. The first part was easy but the second seems harder as it takes a while for the registration to soak through and finally emerge in the IRS online databases. Anyway, I’ll let you know, loudly, when that happens. In the meantime, you can find it on Google at https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=CblRBAAAQBAJ.

Where To Find Birds in Northern Queensland by Ian

Where To Find Birds in Northern Queensland

End of commercial!

The Pale-headed Rosella, is the widespread and familiar Rosella of Queensland, though it range does extend as far as northern New South Wales. There, and in southeastern Queensland, its range overlaps with the closely related Eastern Rosella and they sometimes interbreed.

The ones in the first two photos were taken outside my house. The first bird is feeding on the seeds of weeds, plenty of those here, and the second is feeding on the fruit of wild passionfruit, another weed, also called stinking passionfruit (Passiflora foetida) as the foliage emits a strong odour when crushed. They’re lovely birds, rather unobtrusive though their soft twittering calls reveal their presence, and I’ll always get pleasure from seeing them. They’re usually in pairs of family parties. The plumage is variable: the bird in the first photo has a much intense blue breast than the second one, but the field guides are tight-lipped about whether the plumage of the sexes differs.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

They’re more forthcoming about the plumage of juveniles, as these often show traces of red or darker feathers on the head, like the one coming down for a drink in the third photo.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

There are two races of the Pale-headed Rosella, a northern paler one on Cape York and south to about Cairns, and a southern darker one south of Townsville with a 300km/200mile band of intergrading between Cairns and Townsville. Originally these were described as two different species, the northern one being the Blue-cheeked Rosella, Platycercus adscitus, the southern one the Pale-headed Rosella, P. palliceps. When they were lumped together, the earlier name adscitus took priority, so the northern race is the nominate one and the southern darker one is race palliceps – unfortunately, given that it is the more intensely coloured. Adscitus means ‘approved’ or ‘accepted’, though exactly what was approved or accepted, I don’t know.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

The Townsville birds in the first three photos belong to palliceps. The two, photographed together at Lake Eacham southwest of Cairns, are much closer the nominate race. The yellow is much paler overall, particularly on the back and the upper breast is mainly pale yellow, rather than blue, but there is a blue patch on the lower cheek. The bird in the fifth photo has clear traces of red on the forehead and is a juvenile; the one in the fourth photo has pinkish traces and may be a young bird too.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

The taxonomy of Rosellas in general has been controversial and is still unsettled. Some authorities maintain that the Pale-headed, the Eastern Rosella and the Northern Rosella all belong to a single species even though they look quite different. Whatever, they’re lovely birds, and the good news is that the Pale-headed Rosella has benefitted from European settlement and the clearing of dense forests – they prefer more open areas.

Links:
Pale-headed Rosella 
Eastern Rosella 
Northern Rosella 

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/
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! (Job 19:23 KJV)

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)

Glad they finally have their book published. I know that Ian has been working on this for some time. It is always a great feeling when a project is completed.

Also, the Pale-headed Rosella is a beautiful bird. Another great creation from their Creator. I especially like that first photo.

Rosellas are members of the Psittacidae – Parrots Family. You can see Ian’s photos of this family by clicking here.

See:

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Birds of the Bible – Coat of Many Colors II

Sunset Lorikeet (Trichoglossus forsteni) ©WikiC

Sunset Lorikeet (Trichoglossus forsteni) ©WikiC

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. (Genesis 37:3 KJV)

After I finished the Birds of the World – Kingfishers, Australasian Warblers, White-Eyes and Doves article last week, I decided to finish up the Psittacidae – Parrots Family. I still needed 150 photos or drawings to complete the 363 species needed. Well, last night, it was finished and at 100% for images.

Looking at all those Parrots and others in the family, they definitely have “Coats of Many Colors” also. Just wanted to share their beautifully created plumage also. Most of us are familiar with parrots and parakeets. Many have them as pets or have seen them in the wild. So you are sort of familiar with them, but I am sure as you view the slideshow, you will see many that you haven’t seen before.

I also want to share the only birds I had personally. My preference is that the birds roam free, or are being kept from extinction in zoos or other similar situation. There is nothing wrong with having a pet, but I am just stating my preference. We ended up with two Monk Parakeets when we lived in south Florida. They are wild down there (up here also), but one day the neighbor boys came to my door and told me about an injured Monk Parakeet. A teenager had shot it out of a tree and the smaller boys found it. They said, “You love birds and you will know what to do.” That began the adventure with my bird. I had never kept a bird in my life, but knew that my veterinarian was also a bird vet. Long story short, I ended up with a one-winged bird that could never go back to the wild. My “free bird” ended up costing over $200 for vet bills. (This was over 20 years ago). Dan wanted to call it “One-armed Bandit” because it cost me so much, but I took the “t” off of “Bandit” and it became “Bandi.” I think it was a “she” because she was so sweet.

Well a year later, my friend bought two Monks and told me there was one more, but it had a deformed leg. Another long story short, I bought “Hoppy” for $25 and ended up spending another $200 getting a broken leg repaired. It was an amazing surgery the vet performed. “Hoppy” had to be a male, because he could be mischievous at times, but he learned to talk and was quite enjoyable (most of the time). The picture shows “Hoppy” with the bandage in front and “Bandi” in the background.

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) Hoppy & Bandi

Hoppy in front, Bandi in back – Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

The only two verses in Scripture, that I know of, that would apply to this would be:

For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: (James 3:7 KJV)

As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. (Jeremiah 5:27 KJV)

Back to the Coats of Many Colors, below is a slideshow showing some of our beautiful and personable members of the Psittacidae – Parrots Family.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See Also:

Psittacidae – Parrots Family

Birds of the Bible – Coat of Many Colors I

Birds of the Bible 

Birds of the World

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Green Rosella

Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) by Ian 1

Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) by Ian 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Green Rosella ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 2/26/13

The two recent Tasmanian birds of the week seem to have been popular so here is another one, the Green Rosella. I spent an enjoyable week in a rented campervan in Tasmanian in December 2011 on the way back from the Sub-antarctic trip chasing Tasmanian specialties. After that trip, the Tasmanian species got somewhat eclipsed by the penguins, albatrosses and other seabirds as choices for bird of the week, so I’m making amends now.

Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) by Ian 2

Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) by Ian 2

At up to 37cm/14.6in in length, it’s the largest of the Rosellas, being marginally larger on average than its close relative the Crimson Rosella which it replaces in Tasmania and some islands in Bass Strait. Males are generally larger than females and there are subtle between the sexes with males having relatively larger upper mandibles and broader heads (first photo) and females having more orange on the cheeks (second photo) though most of the field guides don’t distinguish between the sexes.

Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) by Ian 3

Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) by Ian 3

Juveniles, third photo, are more distinctive with duller more olive plumage and, in flight, pale wing stripes. This bird was in the company of the adult in the second photo, and the one in the first photo was in the same area, so I assumed that they comprised a family.

Green Rosellas are quite common throughout Tasmania, showing a preference for highland forest, though these ones were near the coast on the Tinderbox Peninsula south of Hobart, a good place to search for all the Tasmanian endemics.

"Yellow" Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) by Ian  4

“Yellow” Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) by Ian 4

The specific name caledonicus was used by the German naturalist Johann Gmelin in 1788, who mistakenly believed that the type specimen had been collected in New Caledonia. Confusion is the name of the game in Rosella terminology, and species boundaries have changed over the years. The Crimson Rosella has two races which differ greatly in plumage and both the ‘Yellow Rosella’ of Southwest NSW and the ‘Adelaide Rosella’ of South Australia have been regarded as separate species in the past. The Yellow Rosella (fourth photo) looks quite like the Green Rosella – and not at all like a Crimson Rosella – but the Green, given its geographical isolation, has been given the benefit of the doubt and retained as a separate species. This is just as well, politically anyway, as it’s the avian symbol of Tasmania and deserves a certain status.

Best wishes
Ian

**************************************************
Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates


Lee’s Addition:

I will teach you regarding the hand and handiwork of God; that which is with the Almighty … (Job 27:11a AMP)

The Green Rosella is sometimes referred to as the Tasmanian Rosella, probably as Ian mentioned because it is the Avian Symbol of Tasmanian. The Green and “Yellow” Crimson Rosella are part of the Psittacidae – Parrots Family. What gorgeous birds belong to this family and they show the Handiwork of the Lord at some of it’s finest.

Their diet is composed of seeds, fruit, berries and flowers, as well as insects and insect larvae. The Green Rosella is predominantly herbivorous, consuming seeds, berries, nuts and fruit, as well as flowers, but may also eat insect larvae and insects such as psyllids. They have also partaken of the berries of the common hawthorn, as well as Coprosma and Cyathodes, and even leaf buds of the Common Osier. The seeds of the Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) are also eaten.

The breeding season is October to January, with one brood. The nesting site is usually a hollow over 1 m (3 ft) deep in a tree trunk anywhere up to 30 m (100 ft) above the ground. A clutch of four or five white and slightly shiny eggs, measuring 30 x 24 mm, is laid. The nestlings leave the nest around five weeks after hatching and remain with their parents for another month.

See also:

(Wikipedia with editing)

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Kea

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #1

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Kea ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 1/26/12

If you park near the entrance to the Homer Tunnel on the way to Milford Sound in Fiordland on the South Island of New Zealand, you are likely to be approached by one of these interesting-looking parrots.

‘Friendly-looking chap’, you might think, ‘I wonder what he’s after? Just saying Hello? Some food maybe?’. Wrong. This one, the Kea, has a one-track mind, and is only interested in destruction, or more specifically dismantling your vehicle.
Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #2

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #2

Quick as a flash, it and his pals will check it out for weak spots and set to work – this one with yellow cere, lower mandible and eye-ring is a juvenile delinquent (yes, that’s snow in the background, these are tough birds). Let’s see if we can rip the roof off.

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #3

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #3

Oh well, the roof was stronger than it looked. How about the braking light above the back door, this has some promising cracks.

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #4

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #4

Meanwhile, this hardened criminal (this is an adult bird) has learnt that the rubber is more vulnerable and attacks the lining of the front door.
Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #5

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #5

And don’t think you can get rid of us by just driving off. We’ll hang on grimly until we get blown off by the breeze.

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #6

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #6

Keas have the reputation of being playful, but the intensity and obsessiveness of their attacks looked anything like a game to me and more like a compulsion. In fact, their attacks did no noticeable damage even though I parked the camper there for some time so that I could look for the Rock Wrens (Bird of the Week #438). According to my field guide ‘the worst offending birds are caught and transferred to distant sites or taken into captivity’. Sounds familiar.

At one time, Keas were supposed to kill sheep, and the resulting bounty led to their persecution and decline. They have been fully protected since 1986 and the population is recovering.
Keas are quite large birds, 46cm/18in in length and weighting up to 1Kg/2.2lbs. They and their relatives the Kaka and the Kakapo comprise a taxonomically distinct lineage of New Zealand parrots not closely related to any others and usually placed either in their own family (IOC) or sub-family (Birdlife International). While the flightless Kakapo is critically endangered and the subject of an intensive rescue mission http://www.kakaporecovery.org.nz/ , the Kea is quite common in Alpine areas of the South Island and the Kaka occurs in the forests of both islands, though I failed to find it on this trip. It’s good to leave something for the next visit.
Best wishes
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

Sounds like you might want to keep an eye on your personal property around those birds! It is amazing how much the birds vary in their habits and diets. Every time Ian writes about his encounters with the various birds, it’s always different and interesting. Keep up the great birding, Ian, we enjoy your encounters with our avian friends around the world.

I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

See Ian’s Cockatoos & Allies and his Parrots & Allies, which are part of the Strigopidae Family. Those parrots along with the Cockatoos – Cacatuidae and Parrots – Psittacidae Families make up the Psittaciformes Order.

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Formed By Him – Birds of Peru and Chile – II

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Reinier Munguia

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Reinier Munguia

This is a continuation of Formed By Him – Birds of Peru and Chile – I

Since there are so many birds that could be seen by our team in Peru and Chile, I have saved two large families for Part II. The Psittacidae Family which has the Parrots, Macaws, Parakeets, Parrotlets and the Amazons. There are 53 species in Peru and 5 in Chile.

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Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC

We did an article about the Sword-billed Hummingbird and maybe they will get to see one of them.

The Trochillidae Family which has the Hummingbirds, Sicklebills, Hermits, Lancebills, Sabrewings, Jacobin, Violetears, Mangos, Topaz, Coquettes, Thorntails, Sapphires, Woodnymphs, Goldenthroat, Emerald, Plumeleteer, Piedtails, Brilliants, Coronet, Sunbeams, Velvetbreast, Inca, Starfrontlets, Sapphirewing, Sunangel, Pufflegs, Whitetip, Racket-tail, Comets, Mountaineer, Metaltail, Thornbills, Avocetbill, Fairy, Spatuletail, Sheartail and Woodstar. All of these are in the Hummingbird family. There are 123 species in Peru and 9 in Chile.

The two country’s birds are combined in the slideshow.

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These two countries abound in the Creative Hand of the Lord, especially when the birds of the air are observed.

They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands. (Isaiah 5:12 ESV)
that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:20 ESV)

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Eastern Rosella ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 05-04-11

In the search for the rare, elusive and/or beautiful it is easy to take the common, familiar and beautiful for granted. This is especially true when something has been used as an advertising icon and an egregious example of this is the Eastern Rosella, used as an icon in Australia for Rosella tomato sauce, soup and chutney, first image. No doubt the brilliant red head and breast of the Eastern Rosella played a part in its selection, but the Rosella company is a bit coy on the subject and mentions that Rose and Ella were the daughters of the original owners when in 1895 they bought the trademark from the makers of a eucalyptus oil cure for rheumatism.

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

When we set up camp in Barradine, New South Wales, for Easter, a pair of Eastern Rosellas were feeding on grass seed close to our camp-site and using the fence of the old Barradine race track
to reach the seed heads. The first photo shows the splendid male on the fence wire and the second photo shows the same bird on the grass. Rosellas are a bit shy usually keep their distance unless they have become used to people and I’ve had difficulty in photographing them, but this pair was fairly obliging.

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

The specific name eximius is Latin for ‘extraordinary, excellent, fine, superb’ so George Shaw, not George Bernard but keeper of the British Museum, was clearly impressed when he named it carefully in 1792. It takes Mother Nature to combine vivid primary colours without appearing garish, and I particularly like the luscious apple green of the rump, seen better in the second photo, an excellent field mark when you spot the birds flying away, as is often the case. The females are beautiful too, though not quite as bright as the males and the third photo shows the female of the pair walking along the top of the fence and the red colour of the head suffused with greenish-brown.

The Eastern Rosella is common within its relatively limited range comprising Victoria, Tasmania (where it is uncommon) most of New South Wales except the arid north-west, and extending into southeastern South Australia and southeastern Queensland. In the rest of coastal and central Queensland it is replaced by the closely related Pale-headed Rosella and the Northern Rosella, also a close relative, occurs in the Top End of the Northern Territory and northeastern Western Australia.

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) by Ian

Rosella taxonomy is confused and there is uncertainty whether these three, or at least the two eastern one, should be treated as a single species as there is some cross-breeding between Eastern and Pale-headed where their ranges overlap in northern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland. At present they are retained as three species but are sometimes collectively called the white-cheeked Rosellas as distinct from the blue-cheeked Rosellas comprising the Crimson, Yellow and Adelaide Rosellas which are now generally regarded as a single species.

Links:
Pale-headed Rosella
Northern Rosella
Crimson Rosella
Yellow Rosella

Best wishes,
Ian


Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

Wow! What a gorgeous bird of the Parrot – Psittacidae Family. Ian always seem to be in the right place at the right time to get many of his fantastic photos.

This bird reminds me of the coat that was made for Joseph, a coat of many colors. I wonder if the maker of the coat had looked at a Rosella or some other of creations very colorful birds to decide which colors to use.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. (Genesis 37:3 KJV)

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Turquoise Parrot

Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) by Ian

Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Turquoise Parrot ~ by Ian Montgomery

Maybe I was tempting fate when last week I publicly declared my target species of the Pilliga trip to be the Turquoise Parrot, but fate was kind to me when I did the same thing with the Resplendent Quetzal on the eve of my visit to Costa Rica last year.

In truth I felt I needed a bit of help as I’ve been wanting to get reasonable photographs of these gorgeous birds since taking a very poor one of a female in the Warrumbungles in New South Wales in pre-digital days almost exactly eleven years ago. To that end I’d visited both the Warrumbungles and the Capertee Valley west of Sydney several times over the years, detoured via Warwick in Southern Queensland and camped the night in Chiltern in Northern Victoria, all places where this species has been reported.
Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) by Ian

Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) by Ian

We went to the Warrumbungles last Wednesday and we were just about to leave the second site – the Woolshed – recommended by a helpful but not optimistic ranger (‘they haven’t been seen for a month or two’) when Ivor, one of my two sharp-eyed companions, spotted a female on exactly the same powerlines as eleven years ago, but this time she flew off towards the creek without waiting to have her photo taken. A careful search of the creek revealed nothing even vaguely turquoise but eventually we found about 20 birds feeding on the grassy track on the far side.

I spent about 20 minutes sidling up to these birds as gradually as possible. The first two photos are of adult male birds, distinguishable by the reddish shouldered patches, which flew up into a shrub as I approached. The second male seems to be eyeing me quizzically as if wondering what I’m up to. The third photo is of a female feeding on the path.
Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) by Ian

Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) by Ian

Misión completa, as they said in Costa Rica, and thank you, fate.
Best wishes,
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au

Lee’s Addition:

What a gorgeous parrot. Wow!

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matthew 7:7 KJV)

I know last week when Ian said he was off on an adventure to find that Turquoise Parrot, I prayed and asked that he find one. I was being a little selfish because I had never seen one and was trusting that his group would spot one. Whichever, fate or prayer, it is a choice we all make. I prefer the later.

The parrots are in the Psittacidae – Parrots Family of the Psittaciformes Order.

See all of Ian’s Bird of the Week articles.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Golden-shouldered Parrot

Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) by Ian

Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) by Ian

Newsletter: 12/8/2009

The Hooded Parrot featured as bird of the week at the end September following our encounter with some at Pine Creek in the Northern Territory. This week we have its rarer, and just as beautiful, close relative the Golden-shouldered Parrot of Cape York Peninsula, which we saw last week on our way back from Iron Range. We were shown them coming in to drink at a dam at sunrise by Sue Shephard of Artemis Station south of Musgrave.

Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) by Ian

Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) by Ian

The two species look very similar. Male Golden-shouldered Parrots have narrower black caps, not extending past the eye, a yellowish forehead and, despite their name, a smaller golden patch on the wing. These shoulder patches are very obvious in flight, as in the bird top right in the first photo, and presumably act, along with the turquoise rump, as signals to other members of the species. At about 26cm/10in in length, these are both quite small parrots. Like the extinct, closely related, Paradise Parrot of southeastern Queensland, all three species nest, or nested, in terrestrial termite mounds.

The Golden-shouldered Parrot used to be quite widespread on Cape York Peninsula. It is now found only in two areas: in the Morehead River catchment south of Musgrave (where we saw them) and in Staaten River National Park farther to the southwest. Population estimates range up to 1,000 pairs and the species, classified as endangered, is now the subject of a national recovery plan. The good news is that in the last decade the contraction of the range appears to have stopped and the population stabilized, owing to active conservation measures being taken by the holders of grazing properties in the Morehead River catchment, notably Tom and Sue Shephard of Artemis Station. Staaten River National Park is inaccessible by road, so monitoring and conservation there pose particular challenges.

Links:
Hooded Parrot
Golden-shouldered Parrot Recovery Plan

Best wishes,
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:
Another neat bird that Ian has captured in photos for us to enjoy. Thanks again, Ian.

He comes from the north as golden splendor; With God is awesome majesty. (Job 37:22 NKJV)

The Golden-shouldered Parrot is in the Psittacidae Family (Parrots) of the Psittaciformes Order (New Zealand Parrots, Cockatoos, and Parrots).

The adult male is mainly blue and has a characteristic yellow over the shoulder area. It has a black cap and pale yellow frontal band. It has a pinkish lower belly, thighs and undertail-coverts. It has a Grey-brown lower back. Adult female are mainly dull greenish-yellow, and have a broad cream bar on the underside of the wings. Juveniles are similar to the adult female. (Wikipedia)

To see more about the Golden-shouldered Parrot:
Nice Video at Internet Bird Collection
By Wikipedia
By Bird Life International