Wildlife

Top 25 Birds of Australasia

Australasia is renowned for their unique and unusual animals, and their birdlife is no exception. In Australasia you can see birds like Emus, Cassowaries and Logrunners. Australia and New Zealand are endemism hotspots, with 71% of New Zealand’s birds being unique to the islands. This is largely because they have been separated from other continents for over 40 million years, which has allowed species to evolve. Here we present the Top 25 Birds of Australasia. Thank you for everyone who submitted photographs for this week’s theme, your pictures have brought the uniqueness of Australasia’s birds to life.

Greater Crested Terns are known to follow fishing boats, feeding on any discards that they throw over. This one was photographed on Penguin Island, off the coast of Australia (Ashvij Putta)
An Australian Pelican with a fish in his bucket-like bill. These pelicans often forage in groups, sometimes numbering up to 1900 birds! (Shashi Sood)
This beautiful bird is called a Galah, it belongs to the cockatoo family (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
The Straw-necked Ibis is the most abundant and widespread ibis in Australia (Boopathy Murugavel)
The Zebra Dove occurs in the Indonesian islands and has been widely introduced, leaving some doubt as to what their natural range is (Owen Deutsch)
White-eyes are a diverse group of birds, multiple species are found in Asia and Africa. In Australia there are also relatives of the white- eyes, called Silvereyes, like this one photographed in Tasmania, Australia (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
The Black-fronted Dotterel is the most widespread wader in Australia. They colonised New Zealand fairly recently, in the last 70 years (Jamie Rattus Dolphin)
Little Wattlebirds are common in the urban gardens of south-east Australia and Tasmania (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
A Black-shouldered Kite photographed in Perth, Australia by Ashvij Putta
Bush Stone-curlews are found only in the open woodlands of Australia and New Guinea (Jamie Rattus Dolphin)
Researchers have found interesting differences between the diets of female and male Pied Oystercatchers. Males tend to take more hard prey while females take more worms (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
The endangered Kea is endemic to the mountains of New Zealand’s south island. they were once believed to kill sheep and were widely extirpated by farmers. we now know that Keas actually eat mainly fruit and vegetation, only scavenging on carcasses opportunistically (Michal Richter)
A Double-banded Plover ruffles its feathers in Perth, Australia (Jamie Rattus Dolphin)
Rainbow Lorikeets reside in the woodlands of eastern Australia, feeding on nectar, pollen and fruits (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
Red-winged Parrots prefer eating eucalyptus and acacia seeds (Judi Fenson)
Noisy Miners are highly aggressive, they will attack, and occasionally kill, birds that cross in their territories (Shashi Sood)
Pied Oystercatchers can be found in salt marshes and sandy beaches in Australia (Ashvij Putta)
Here you can see how the Rainbow Lorikeet got its name! (Jamie Rattus Dolphin)
The Red-vented Bulbul of southern Asia has been introduced to the Polynesian Islands, it is listed as one of the worst 100 invasive species in the world (Owen Deutsch)
like many of New Zealand’s birds, the New Zealand Rockwren is endangered. Their main threat is introduced mammalian predators like stoats and mice (Fran Bell)
Western Yellow Robins of western Australia are sedentary, ringing records show most recaptures are less than 10 km from the original ringing site (Jamie Rattus Dolphin)
A White Tern photographed on Ducie Island by Owen Deutsch
This is the sub-species leuconotus of the White-winged Fairy-wren. These are blue, while the other sub-species is black (Jamie Rattus Dolphin)
Two Yellow-billed Spoonbills photographed on the Alcoa-Wellard Wetlands in Western Australia (Ashvij Putta)
A White-fronted chat photographed in Tasmania, Australia by (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

 

Top 25 Birds of Africa

Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.

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