Real World Gardener amazing Olive Backed Oriole is Wildlife in Focus

April 24th, 2017

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Olive Backed Oriole Oriolus sagittatus

 

What would you pick for the top songbird in Australia or perhaps just in your district?

Perhaps the Magpie, or Butcher bird, or for those who are a bit more savvy with bird identification and bird calls, would you pick the Figbird? Australia does make the top 40 songbirds in the world, but would you have picked this next one?

 

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Olive Backed Oriole (Oriolus saggitatus) Picture of the Olive-backed Oriole has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.

 

Olive Backed Oriole (Oriolus saggitatus) Picture of the Olive-backed Oriole has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.

 

Did you know that not only does the Oriole like to live in woodlands and rainforests, but leafy urban areas that plenty of trees.

You may have heard the call and not realised what bird it the call belonged to.

 

Let’s find out.  I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards.

As Holly mention, the Oriole is found along coastal and near inland strips in northern and eastern Australia from Broome WA, to the south-east of South Australia; plus around Adelaide.

 

These birds are really good at hiding themselves especially the fact that they can throw their calls and mimic other birds such as magpies.

 

All in all, making it a challenge to find them, but surprisingly they can be found in urban areas that are leafy and green.

 

Listen out for the "orry-orry-oriole" call, which is their genuine call.

 

If you have any questions about the Olive Backed Oriole or have some photos to share, why not drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Red Backed Fairy Wren is Wildlife in Focus

March 16th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Red Backed Fairy Wren and Superb Fairy Wren

 

This little bird is the smallest of the wren species in Australia.

In fact it’s smaller than a sparrow and because it’s so small, that it’s called the Elfin wren.

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Red Backed Fairy Wren

The males of course have all the colour being a glossy black with a scarlet patch, whilst the females are brown.

They can't be mistaken for a sparrow because they're smaller and have that characteristic pointing up tail, bouncing around like little ping pong balls.

 Let’s find out what’s great about this bird.

 

Smaller and shyer than the Superb Fairy Wren , the Red Backed Fairy Wren has a similar call.

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Female Red Backed Fairy Wren, not red at all.

But most of us won’t see this Fairy Wren because Red-backed Fairy-wrens are essentially birds of Australia's north where they are mainly restricted to the more humid zones closer to the coast.

In eastern Australia they do extend south down the NSW north coast to near Newcastle and in W.A. south to Cape Keraudren, again along the coast.

Apparently they’re common around the outskirts of Brisbane and Darwin.

If you have any questions about Red Back Fairy Wrens, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 VEGETABLE HEROES

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Real World Gardener Wedge Tailed Eagle is Wildlife in Focus

September 26th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney,streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com
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WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

wedge%2Btailed%2Beagle.jpgWith a wingspan of up to 2.5m, and standing at least one metre tall, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle is the largest raptor in Australia.

A lanky bird, it hunts by flying up to 2 kilometres high, circling on thermal air currents for as long as 90 minutes and sailing out over the countryside, covering wide areas .

When flying, the wings have distinctive flight tips and its tail fanned and wedge shaped.

Let’s find more. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of www.birdsinbackyards.com.au

Tthe Wedge-Tailed Eagle is found throughout Australia, including Tasmania and will aggressively defend their territory, even against drones.

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Wedge Tailed Eagle

Earlier this century, when eagles were found on dead sheep and lambs, it was thought that they had killed them.

Bounties were paid to farmers for shooting them, (In one year in Queensland 10000 bounties were paid and between 1927-1968 in Western Australia another 150000.)

All that has stopped once people realized that the eagles usually attack only poor, dying or dead lambs and have little effect on the sheep industry. Today they are protected in all states.

If you have any questions about Wedge Tailed Eagles or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

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Real World Gardener Striated Heron in Wildlife in Focus

August 19th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IF FOCUS

Striated Heron

The Striated Heron is doesn't get as much attention as other Australian herons because of its quiet nature.

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Butorides striata; Striated Heron

 

With its short legs, black crown with striations or  stripes on its throat and neck that can either be grey or rufous in colour; it lives quietly among the mangrove forests, mudflats and oyster-beds of eastern, northern and north-western Australia, where it creeps about in the soft mud among the mangrove roots in search of prey such as fish, crabs and other marine invertebrates.

Let’s find out about it. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.org.au

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These birds are a touch smaller than the white faced heron, and about the same size as Dusky Moorhens.

When foraging, these herons usually adopt a hunched posture, with the head and neck drawn back into the bird’s body, while keeping the bill held horizontally, parallel to the surface of the mud.

It may be small with short legs but it’s pretty good at stalking it’s food.

Slowly, either standing and waiting for prey to emerge or by sometimes plunging at it from a perch, before stabbing it with its sharp bill.

If you have any questions about Striated Herons or any other bird or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike in Wildlife in Focus

June 2nd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike Coracina novaehollandiae

It’s funny that some birds live in our urban areas but we don’t know that they’re there.

Mainly because they’re not aggressive, a bit on the quiet side and don’t pick up leftovers from the barbecue.

But there they are all the same, living quietly amongst us.

I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.net


That was Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.net



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Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike photo Birds in Backyards



So Cuckoo-shrikes are neither cuckoos nor shrikes, but are called that because their feathers have similar patterns to those of cuckoos and their beak shape resembles that of shrikes?

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes have a black face and throat, blue-grey back, wings and tail, and white underparts.

These Shufflewings or Black Faced Cuckoo Shrieks forage in trees, and sometimes over open paddocks, for caterpillars, other insects, and occasionally fruit.

They fly from tree to tree, often landing on a prominent perch  which gives them a vantage pointfrom where they can pounce on their prey.

The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike is found many suburbs, where these birds are often seen perched on overhead wires or television aerials.

If you have any questions about the Black Faced cuckoo shrike or any other bird or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Red Wattlebird in Wildlife in Focus

May 7th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

RED WATTLEBIRD

Gardens are a particular favourite of this medium sized nectar feeding wattlebird.



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Red wattlebird



One of the second largest, weighing  of it’s type,110grams, these birds make a typical clucking sound not unlike that of chickens and have a yellow underbelly with red cheek patches.

The biggest wattlebird is the yellow wattlebird and only lives in Tasmania. The red wattlebird lives mostly in the southern areas of Australia, but that includes New South Wales except for inland.

You might see one or two around Brisbane as well.

Are they coming to visit your garden or neighbourhood?

Let’s find out ? I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons Manager of Birds in Backyards.

The red wattlebird is a mottled browny-white with little globs of red called 'wattles' below the cheek.

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Red Wattlebird photo Birds in Backyards

Not named after it’s penchant for hanging around Wattle trees, but for the red flap or wattle on each side of its face, a bit like that of chickens and turkeys.

This bird also has a yellow belly and a reddish eye when it's mature.

FACT CHECK: Nectar is a large par of any honeyeaters diet and you might find information on the web that wattlebirds have a brush tipped tongue.

That’s not correct, but is as Holly said, just a fairly long tongue that’s good for slurping up the nectar with the aid of a long curved bill for probing the flowers.

If you have any questions about red wattlebirds or any other birds or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Grey Plover is Wildlife in Focus

April 23rd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

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WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Did you know that Australia provides habitat for millions of migratory birds each year?<?xml:namespace prefix = "data-blogger-escaped-o" />

Some of these birds fly amazing distances when they migrate.

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Grey Plover photo www.birdlife.org

Today’s bird in Wildlife in focus is the Grey Plover which is a special and unusual migratory shorebird that we know very little about.

It’s the largest plover we have in Australia of its type and we know that they migrate an amazing  12,000km to breed in northern Siberia and Alaska during the northern summer and return to spend our summer in Australia.

. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.net

So the grey Plover can be described as having a strongly barred tail.

We can see them all around the coastline of Australia at inlets, estuaries lagoons, and tidal salt marshes.

Oddly enough, the majority of Grey Plovers that migrate to Australia are female. No-one knows why.

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Grey Plover, photo Birds in Backyards

They spend their summer here and from March to April, head north, stopping to re-fuel in Korea, and China's Yellow Sea.

Grey Plovers mostly eat crustaceans, polychete works and other invertebrates.

Because shore birds like the Grey Plover are along the coastline if you notice that there’s a flock of shore birds, not just you’re common seagull, but birds like the grey plover, then you can help by not disturbing them and keeping your dog on a lead.

Threats to migratory birds have grown with habitat destruction especially of stopover and wintering sites, as well as structures such as power lines and wind farms.

The conservation of important sites both within Australia and along their migration routes is really important to their survival.

If you have any questions about Grey Plovers or any birds or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Brown Thornbill in Wildlife in Focus

March 5th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com
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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Brown Thornbill

Often referred to by birders as LBB, this little bird can look similar to a lot of other little birds.

the characteristic shape of Thornbills are short tail, short sharp body , sort of like a ping pong ball.

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Brown Thornbill photo Birds of  Australia

Often these birds are hard to identify because they’re not a conspicuous bird and are rarely seen on the ground.

But being a rather inquisitive bird it will usually come out if you make squeaking noises.

Let’s find out about how to best identify this LBB.



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Brown Thornbill photo barwonbluff.com.au

 



I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards.

 



Brown Thornbills will quite happily visit your garden, the park, or your local nature strip, particularly where there are large patches of remnant vegetation or shrubby creek lines.

Did you know that the Brown Thornbill sticks around its home territory for life? Apparently marked birds known to be 11 years old have been re-captured several times, never having moved more than a few hundred metres from where they were first caught.

If you have any questions about Brown Thornbills or any other bird, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Zebra Finch in Wildlife in Focus

January 23rd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

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WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

zebra%2Bfinch.pngZEBRA FINCH or Chestnut Eared Finch.

What grows only to 10cm in size and 10 - 12 grams , is mostly found in only Australia, it’s favourite food is grass seeds and are often kept as pets?

The Zebra Finch as the title suggests?

Zebra finches have a chunky reddish coloured beak, with fine boned, tiny little legs.

Males have chestnut cheek patch; both sexes have zebra stripes with some barring.
Let’s find out about another unique Australian bird.

I'm talking with Birds in Backyards Manager, Dr Holly Parsons.

In the wild they tend to be in flocks and are not territorial.

They pair for life and will re-pair on the death of a partner.

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Zebra Finch photo: Birds in Backyards.

You might’ve seen them for sale in pet stores but don’t tempted to buy them unless you like loud singers and untidy eaters that drop bird seed everywhere.
The male zebra finch also doesn’t like contact with other birds.
I prefer to see birds in the wild.
If you do want to keep them as a pet I would recommend that you seek expert advice before taking a finch home. 
As small and as simple as they look, finches needs patience and proper care in order to breed successfully.
By the way, cats are the biggest threat to finches so do keep yours in at night.
If you have any questions about Zebra finches or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

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Real World Gardener Brown Goshawk in Wildlife in Focus

December 4th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com
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Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Today I’m introducing a new presenter for the Wildlife in Focus segment which has been in sort of a holiday while I was hunting around for someone to fill the role after ecologist sue Stevens wasn’t able to continue with the segment.

The bird that’s featured is a bird of prey and can easily be mistaken for a couple of other birds that look similar.



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Brown Goshawk

Let’s find out how to pick which raptor you might find in the sky. I'm talking with Manager of Birds in Backyards, Dr Holly Parsons.

The Brown Goshawk can look similar to a Powerful Owl, and the Collared Sparrowhawk. The Brown Goshawk has a similar face to the Powerful Owl but has a line or brow above the eye and a red-brown collar plus finely barred underparts. The collared Sparrowhawk has very similar colouring but doesn't have the harsh brow.

The major difference between the two raptors is that the Brown Goshawk has a rounded tail and the Collared Sparrowhawk has a squared cut off tail.

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Powerful Owl Photo: Habitat Network

 On the other hand the powerful owl is much bigger and has striped chevrons on the underparts.

Did you know that the Brown Goshawk is one of Australia's most persecuted raptors. That’s because some people call it a "chicken hawk," which it’s not.

What it really is a natural predator of birds, reptiles, frogs, large insects and mammals up to the size of rabbits.

Yes it’s true they sometimes hunt out your chickens, but that’s because it’s either a juvenile, or sometimes the adults, if they’re extremely hungry due to illness, injury, or extreme environmental conditions where’s there’s not much prey in the wild.

They hunt by stealth, relying on surprise to catch their prey.

The Brown Goshawk's preferred habitat is dry, open eucalypt forest and woodland.

If you have any questions about Brown Goshawks or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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