Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Duncan McCaskill in Australia has a popular birdbath, and it’s gotten even more popular with the heat. His notes and photos:

Its been a long hot summer in Australia, and here in Canberra and my bird bath has been busy. I clean and re-fill it nearly every day, but at the end of the day it can be dry and dusty if large birds have been having a good splash. Here are some of the visitors.

A young Brown-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris):

A Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) :

A White-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus penicillatus):

The White-plumed Honeyeater enjoying itself:

A Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa):

Some Red-browed Finches (Neochmia temporalis):

A Striated Thornbill (Acanthiza lineata) that was missing its tail for some reason. It was in a small flock, but only this tail-less one wanted a bath.

An Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen). It doesn’t take many magpies bathing to empty the bird bath.
A Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina). Despite the impression you might get from the preceding picture, Currawongs are actually a bit larger than Magpies.



  1. Lurker111
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Are currawongs still part of the crow family? Beak certainly suggests it.

    • Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      No, they’re not corvids. I thought they were, too. Magpies are, of course, corvids.

      • Duncan McCaskill
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Australian Magpies are not related to European Magpies, and they are not corvids. They are Butcherbirds (genus Cracticus), and belong to the family Artamidae, as do the Currawongs. Unlike corvids, Australian Magpies have beautiful complex calls. (The related Pied Butcherbird is an even more accomplished songster.)

        I should add that our butcherbirds are not shrikes, which are also sometimes called buthcherbirds. We don’t have any shrikes in Australia.

  2. Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    look after Mother Nature, and nurture the Holy Spirit, amen

  3. Terry Sheldon
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Very nice photos! I especially like the red-browed finches.

  4. Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Beautiful things! I really like them. The nice, out of focus backgrounds are also excellent. Well done!

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink


  5. rickflick
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I enjoy seeing Australia’s best. She also has a jailbird, I understand, by the name of Pell. 6 years in the slammer.

  6. Paul Techsupport
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Terrific pictures. I have a Brown Thrasher doing a good White-plumed Honeyeaters imitation right now. Joyful splashing makes my day!

  7. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Nice photos, but may I suggest a larger bird bath? 🙂

  8. Christopher
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    A spot of beauty to brighten up a day that started off darker than most.

    I really enjoy seeing birds I’ve never heard of and will probably never be so fortunate to see in person. Thank you.

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