Australian White Ibises

Bin Chickens. Trash Turkeys. Rubbish Raptors. The Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) has a bad reputation.

Intrepid, mobile, and omnivorous these birds thrive in our cities. Unfortunately, many people associate them with garbage and scavenging, and don’t see their astonishing beauty.

They have a lifespan of up to 20 years, and a high rate of fertility, so they seem to be permanent members of our community. Last year we were shocked when over 30% of the population died. We’re still not sure what the cause was, but a virus is the most likely candidate.

I often don’t bother to capture them, as they are common, they fly a lot, and they are very easy to photograph. Sometimes, when the other birds are too lazy to fly, or the swallows are too annoying, I grab a shot or two. Or thirteen.

I think they are majestic.

Physics in Action
Physics in Action
Commit to the Tree
Commit to the Tree
Trading Speed for Altitude
Trading Speed for Altitude
Flare for Landing
Flare for Landing
Spoilers deployed for landing
Spoilers deployed for landing
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Noisy Miners Post #1

On a mild (22°C) midwinter day the Noisy Miners were cooling off in the lake. They often do this when it’s hot, and it seems to be a social behaviour.

Capturing them is a bit of a technical challenge. They are small birds, and fast. The fly out a few meters over the lake, then dive in fast. Pointing the lens, acquiring a perfect focus, then taking the shot has to be done inside half a second. It’s easier to get them coming out than going in.

My recipe was to shoot a fast (1/3200) exposure with the gain wound up high and the autofocus tuned for fast acceleration.

I’m splitting these pictures across three posts out of concern for your page load times.

Noisy Miner
Soggy Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner Airborne
Noisy Miner getting Airborne
Noisy Miner commiting to the Dive
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Ibis Chick and Noisy Miner and Dragon

The title says it all, really.

It’s mid-autumn and the average peak temperature is still over 30°C. Ibis Chicks should have moved on, Noisy Miners shouldn’t be hunting spiders and Dragons should be awesome. Well, one of these animals is getting it right.

White Ibis Begging
Baby Ibis
White Ibis Begging
White Ibis Begging
White Ibis Begging
“But Mum, I’m still hungry.”
Noisy Miner “harvesting” a spider
Water Dragon on Rock
“Good Morning. I will be your Dragon for these proceedings.”
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More Birds

I’ve never seen the honeyeater or the wattlebird before.

A Wattlebird of some stripe I think.
A Wattlebird of some stripe I think.
New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater
Pied Currawong being Gorgeous
Pied Currawong being Gorgeous
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Seagulls – First Batch

We were driving back from the lookout ar Redhill in Canberra when we came upon a small beach on the lake, The gulls were working out where to roost for the night. I think these are all silver gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae). The ones with dark beaks and eyes are juveniles.

I have quite a lot of these pics, so I’m publishing a couple of posts.

Silver Gull over Water
Silver Gull over Water
Silver Gull in Flight
Silver Gull in Flight
Silver Gull in Flight
Silver Gull in Flight
Silver Gull low over water
Silver Gull low over water
Two Silver Gulls in Flight
Two Silver Gulls in Flight
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