Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published August 11th 2016
I love birds, I love listening to the tweeting, chirping, whipping and laughing - I even love when visitors think our home sounds like Jurassic Park in the morning, with all the sounds that start pre-dawn.
We are so fortunate to have such beautiful wild birds in Australia, but I especially love the ones found on the Sunshine Coast - I'm still learning what 'call' belongs to which bird, and I'm hoping that other locals can give me a few lessons - whether it be the biological name, a local nickname and what sounds to listen out for.
Rainbow Lorikeet, image: Illustration by Vincent Hesse, a local Buderim artist
This must be one of the world's most beautiful birds, certainly one of the noisiest - flying overhead in screaming flocks, looking for the next blossoming tree. They feed on nectar, blossoms, fruit, insects and seeds. Most Australians are very familiar with the Rainbow Lorikeet. Apparently, if one wants to attract them to your home (if no blossoms are available), honey or sugar-water can be used - I must say I have tried this in the past, but have had no success, so now rely on the blossoms in the garden to attract them. They do love Banksias and Bottle-Brushes I've noticed, but one would have thought that Mother Nature would have given such a beautiful bird a more endearing tone!
King Parrots, image: Illustration by Vincent Hesse, a local Buderim artist
When we lived in Brisbane we had a pair of these visit every winter for the bird seed that we put out - they always appeared so tame, happy to walk along the balcony balustrade, close enough for me to touch. They are usually seen in pairs or small groups, feed mostly on the outermost branches of eucalypts, but also like to eat on the ground where their bright colouring blends in with light and shade dappling. The females and young king parrots have green heads - easier to differentiate this way - the males have red heads. I love these beautiful birds, but unfortunately haven't had the pleasure of seeing them in our garden in Buderim yet - but have heard that they are plentiful?……am still waiting to spot my first one.
Pale-headed Rosella, image: Illustration by Vincent Hesse, a local Buderim artist
These cute little birds always make me think of the domesticated budgie - they look so similar. A quiet bird, will often go unnoticed, feeding alongside the roadside on weeds of various kinds. The Rosella also enjoys seeds and berries. They form part of the Parrot family and again, supposedly very common along the Sunshine Coast ….hmmm, I think I might have seen some at the bottom of the garden, but am not too sure.
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, image: Illustration by Vincent Hesse, a local Buderim artist
Now this one I've seen, not up close, but flying overhead in a flock - one cannot miss the loud noise that they emit - making sure everybody knows they're around - could this be the 'Jurassic' sounds my visitors are referring to? This Cockatoo is apparently usually dark brown; the really black specimens are very rare. They are very fond of the seeds from pine trees, banksias, hakeas and wood-boring grubs. Does anybody have these in their garden?
This pigeon is nomadic and roams the rainforests, feeding on berries and fruits. They used to be endangered because of the clearing of rainforests but their numbers have now recovered. I believe Buderim Sports Ground is one of these pigeons' favourite spots to be found early in the morning, so looks like that's what I'm going to have to do - you know the expression "the early bird catches the worm" - in this case 'bird'!
Kookaburra, image: Illustration by Vincent Hesse, a local Buderim artist
This beautiful Australian bird needs no introduction - we all know the Kookaburra and have seen numerous in our gardens. Most visitors from overseas regard the Kookaburra as an integral part of Australian wildlife - perhaps as much as the kangaroo. These bush larrikins have a very special appeal and are happy to exploit their avian charm to the full, but I've noticed are quite fearful of the Indian Minors, who seem to attack them en masse when the opportunity arises - do the Kookaburras eat their eggs, or chicks, I wonder?
Courtesy of Youtube
I love this birds' call, it sounds just like a whip-crack and in the winter months hearing its call is far more frequent than in the summer. Perhaps they move elsewhere in the warmer months? They are dark olive-green, with a long tail and a grey-white belly. I believe that the Whipbirds' long whip call is usually performed as a duet - the male makes the drawn out whip crack and the female usually follows quickly with a sharp 'choo-choo' - I must say I have never noticed this and will definitely listen out for it.
Blue-faced Honeyeater, image: Illustration by Vincent Hesse, a local Buderim artist
Another favourite of mine - we call it the 'banana bird' - a very pretty bird - black, white and olive-green with a striking blue skin around the yellow eye. Not sure why they're called 'banana birds' - any idea… anybody?
Our garden is plentiful with these stunning birds, they love the Banksias and Bottle-Brushes. Not sure what call/tweet they have, does anybody know?
These stunning birds are my inspiration when sitting outdoors and writing for Weekend Notes - so I feel they need a special mention - what 'tweets' and 'chirps' do you have in your garden?
My father published Birds of the Sunshine Coast many years ago. Interesting that you have used his prints. He was an ornithologist as well as an artist. The book has not been republished unfortunately. Diana Hesse
No knowledge but another question. We've recently moved to Kawana Island and are trying to identify our birds too.
We occasionally see a tiny bright blue bird and suspect it's the one with a loud tweet, though it often remains hidden. Anyone know it?