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Weekend Wanderings: Birds at the Melbourne Zoo

Photographing birds is not something I ever thought I would get into, but here I am doing it more and more often.  I started with just trying to photograph the birds in the local swamp, Banyule Flats, and now I am started to go other places, like the zoo.  It surprised me that you could do bird photography at the zoo, but there are a few places there where it is possible. It is all fairly controlled, so perhaps a good way to start if you don’t know what you are doing.  There are some birds there that live in really big aviary’s so they can still fly.  There is a really big one at Melbourne Zoo that you can walk through. Then there are other birds that are free to come and go as they please, and the Zoo will put special food out for them.

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Rainbow Lorikeets

Near the entrance you can hear lots of lots of screeching, it is the sound from the Rainbow Lorikeets as they wait for someone to come and fill their bowls with nectar. They are such beautiful birds, but very loud. When the feeding bowls are filled it seems like hundreds come to feed from them. We went to the zoo again yesterday hoping to see the feeding frenzy again, but they didn’t get fed, so we don’t know if it was happening at a different time, or what, we will just have to go back again.

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Wattle Bird

This  is a Little Wattle bird that showed up just after the Lorikeets flew away to get some nectar as well.

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Glossy Black Cockatoo

Australia has some very unique animals that are not found anywhere else in the world, and I think we also have some rather unique birds as well.  I remember another blogger asking me to photograph some because she had heard that we had some very unusual ones, and colourful ones.  This one is not so colourful, but still beautiful.  It is, I think, a Glossy Black Cockatoo and I just looked up its status on Birdlife and it seems this lovely one is in an endangered species. It would be terrible to see them disappear.  It is happening too much, Australia has had so many species become extinct because of humans and their carelessness, here at the moment the biggest problems for wildlife at cats and brown foxes.  Cats, both feral and domestic kill so many native animals and birds.  We have a cat, but because of the reasons just stated he isn’t allowed to go outside. He can sit at the window and watch the birds, but he will never be responsible for killing one.

Apparently this is a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, I got it wrong, still very pretty.

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Blue Billed Duck

The blue billed duck is pretty, the colour of the bill is so amazing.  Very tricky to photograph and get all that colour.  It kept coming out white.  This is another endangered bird.

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Royal Spoon Bill

The Royal Spoon Bill, it really stops you in your path.  I have only ever seen these at the zoo until very recently.  I’m starting to wonder what birds are endangered now, as I read that these are as well.  I think the zoo does try to help them, and from what I can gather they get many species because they are hurt or something like that, and then often try to get them to a stage where they can be released back into the wild.

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Blue Winged Kookaburra

This is another bird I’ve never seen in the wild.  Unfortunately it is hard to get a good photo of them through the cage.  The camera hates focusing through mess or wire like this.  It will work if you use manual focusing, which I tried for something else, but my eyes are not what they used to be.

It was interesting seeing what birds they had there.  I have more birds for you tomorrow, but the photos will be from a wetlands where I was able to take some photos last weekend, but more about that tomorrow. For today, I leave you with a gallery, where if I have been able I have put the name of the bird.  I don’t know that I got all the names correct, but have done my best.  A couple I couldn’t work out, I will have to get my friend onto it.  It is raining here, lots of rain in the last 12 hours, which is nice, though apparently won’t get rid of the heat, so horrible hot humid weekend ahead for us.

 

 

96 Comments
  1. Beautiful captures – pelicans would have to be one of my favourite birds – am so looking forward to seeing them again when we visit Australia next month!

    February 14, 2015
    • I love pelicans too, so incredible, wait until tomorrow’s post Joanne. Thank you, I hope you get to see lots when you come.

      February 14, 2015
  2. Wonderful bird pictures. Gorgeous! And such an interesting bunch of birds. All those different beaks and shapes.

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you Marilyn, we do have some weird and wonderful creatures here.

      February 14, 2015
  3. Beautiful images, Leanne. I especially like the Royal Spoonbill about to strike! Can’t wait to see the ones from the wetlands! 🙂

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you Chris, so many to choose from from last week, I don’t know what I will show. 🙂

      February 14, 2015
  4. How beautiful they are, especially the black cockatoo!

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you Gypsy, the black cockatoos are amazing, we don’t see them often here.

      February 14, 2015
  5. Just beautiful Leanne!

    February 14, 2015
  6. Difficult in an aviary where all the birds are mixed together, but when I go to a zoo, I take a quick picture of any signs so I can identify the animals afterwards. You’ve got some really beautiful photos 🙂

    February 14, 2015
    • I do that sometimes too, but I am trying to get better at identifying them, it is a new challenge. Thank you, it was great to take photos there, good practice. 🙂

      February 14, 2015
  7. Great colourful photos. The kookaburra really represents Australia for me, just as kiwis do for us New Zealanders. Our main problem for our birds are possums, stouts, rats and cats in that order. Yet possums are protected in Australia. Look forward to seeing your photos tomorrow.

    February 14, 2015
    • Oh yes, I know what you mean, and the emu is like that too. We do protect the native possums, they are annoying, but they don’t seem to do kill the wildlife like foxes and cats, oh yes and rats, they are a major problem too. I was listening to a talk the other night about how New Zealand was getting rid of rats, quite amazing. Australia is too big to even contemplate it I think. Thanks Raewyn. 😀

      February 14, 2015
  8. The Royal Spoon Bill was amazing.

    February 14, 2015
    • I love them too, so amazing, such a weird bill.

      February 14, 2015
  9. Some great shots there. Birds make great subjects, so colourful.,I would love to go to Papua New Guinea to see the birds of paradise.

    February 14, 2015
    • They do, I quite enjoy photographing them. That isn’t a safe place to go to anymore is it?
      Thank you.

      February 14, 2015
      • Leanne, yes you are right, not the safest place. Mind you the FCO probably state Switzerland is dangerous! May have to be Madagascar instead then…..

        February 14, 2015
      • My husband spent time there when he was a small boy, his father worked there, but I believe it is very different now. Haha, yes maybe.

        February 14, 2015
  10. ulsterphotosimages #

    Nice images , always find birds difficult to capture , these are very good !

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you, they can be, especially small ones, I am getting better, well I hope I am.

      February 14, 2015
  11. These are gorgeous Leanne, I love that blue billed duck. I have never seen anything like it! The colors are so lovely too. Thank you for sharing these, I so enjoyed looking at all of them!

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you Carrie, I love the blue bill too, such a great colour. You’re welcome, and that is wonderful.

      February 14, 2015
  12. Wow. I’ve never seem a black ibis before. The ones we have here in sydney are all dirty white with black wings. I have posted some on my blog. Love painting birds and often photograph thrm first. Australian geographic has a list of endangered native birds. You can get it at their shop and I guess online as well. Thanks for the photos. Wonderful work.

    February 14, 2015
    • Oh yes, the white ones are here everywhere as well. I don’t know where the black ones are from, not necessarily from here if they are in Melbourne. Birdlife has whether birds are endangered or not as well. They make good subjects for images. Painting them must be interesting. Thank you Dave.

      February 14, 2015
  13. Exceptional photography, Leanne. Just outstanding! Thank you!

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you Amy, such high praise.

      February 14, 2015
      • You are well deserving of it and more, Leanne. These images are past perfection!!!

        February 15, 2015
      • Thank you Amy, I like doing the birds.

        February 15, 2015
  14. Great shots. It’s even more fun to try to photograph them overhead as they fly free.

    February 14, 2015
    • Oh yes, I will have some shots of some tomorrow, quite different and quite difficult. Thank you.

      February 14, 2015
  15. so beautiful!!

    February 14, 2015
  16. You have some wonderful shots of the birds Leanne.

    We keep a few feeders at the back of our house. We enjoy just watching the birds and believe it or not, they get used to us! We also have a hummingbird feeder. To me hummingbirds are one of nature’s truly amazing creatures and to watch these tiny creatures hover in mid air is truly incredible.

    Oh, I also take advantage of the feeders and sit quietly in a corner with my long lens (150-500) tripod mounted to photograph them. You have to be quick, because they come and go in a flash.

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you John.
      We don’t get hummingbirds here, mores the pity, I would love to try photographing them.
      I want to do some things in my garden to encourage the birds, for the same reasons. Sounds like a great way to spend time.

      February 14, 2015
  17. Some great captures here. Birds are a real challenge because of their ability to rarely sit still for long, the smaller they are the more they move. I am trying to focus,(literally as well) on birds in my photographic wanderings, the longer you sit and watch them the more fascinating they become. Sometimes the watching transcends the photography.

    February 14, 2015
    • So true Denis, they don’t sit still for long, well except when you want them to move, and then they don’t. I don’t know that I will concentrate on birds, but I do like photographing them. Thanks Denis, and I want to wish you luck with your photos too.

      February 14, 2015
  18. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    I never knew there was an Australian Pelican, it is very beautiful. 🙂

    February 14, 2015
    • Yes, me either, I thought they were the same everywhere, but apparently we have our own. 🙂

      February 14, 2015
  19. I really love the one with the two pelicans. 🙂 Funny how I was just shooting hummingbirds yesterday which I never do and you posted this bird blog! Weird!

    February 14, 2015
    • The pelicans are great. It is funny, seems everyone is photographing birds, LOL, I feel like I’ve been doing it a lot in the last couple of weeks. Thanks Laura.

      February 14, 2015
  20. You are very talented, and I’m enjoying your bird photography. 🙂

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you so much and that is wonderful.

      February 14, 2015
  21. Birds are so captivatingly beautiful…love the spoonbill images …lovely!!!

    February 14, 2015
    • I agree, they are great to watch and take photos of. The spoonbills are such weird birds. Thank you Trees.

      February 14, 2015
  22. Lovely Photos Leanne .

    February 14, 2015
  23. Beautiful, Leanne! I particularly like the spoonbill reflection.

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you Katrina. The spoonbill was great.

      February 14, 2015
  24. beautiful set of photos, leanne. the birds all look so healthy, like they are in the wild. I especially like the duck shots.
    ken

    February 14, 2015
    • Thank you Ken, they are well looked after in the zoo.

      February 14, 2015
  25. Careful Leanne bird shots can be addictive hahah 🙂 greta pics..the Cockatoo is a red -tailed cockatoo and they are magnificent…I went down the dam today to capture some birds,..where there is water you are never short of birds 🙂 was great to just sit and chill..Bev

    February 14, 2015
    • I am starting to get that Bev, I am thinking of ways to get the birds to come to my garden so I can practice on them. Oh yes, always lots of birds around water, and snakes. LOL 🙂

      February 15, 2015
  26. I love that Glossy Black Cockatoo. He looks like Elvis!

    February 15, 2015
    • I know what you mean Cate, though it seems I got the identification wrong, it is another sort of cockatoo. Thanks Cate.

      February 15, 2015
  27. Your captures are beautiful Leanne. I love the ones of the lorikeets. Their colours are so vivid.

    February 15, 2015
    • Thank you Colline, the lorikeets are so colourful and very pretty, but they are also very loud. 🙂

      February 15, 2015
      • I can imagine they are – especially when there are so many of them together!

        February 15, 2015
      • Oh yes, and they were all there.

        February 16, 2015
  28. Love your Rainbow Lorikeets inspecting their interpretation board! By coincidence I just wrote a post myself about endangered species. It’s so terrible to think so many animals are disappearing, many as a result of human actions. Wonderful post.

    February 15, 2015
    • I thought that was good too, though didn’t realise I took that until I got home, LOL. I agree, it is very sad to see it happening, and still happening. It really is shameful of us. I think in a country like this they should have taken extra precautions, at least they aren’t be hunted for the thrill of shooting something like in Africa.

      February 15, 2015
      • I think the worst thing is poaching. And the trade in animal parts. It’s unspeakable.

        February 15, 2015
      • Oh yes and killing an animal for its horn or tusks, barbaric.

        February 15, 2015
      • It’s what I was writing about – that Susan Portnoy is highlighting on The Insatiable Traveller – about #justonerhino.

        February 15, 2015
      • Yes, I saw her post, I donated some money too, I hope they get the money to do it.

        February 15, 2015
  29. What a wonderful collection Leanne .. I have never seen the blue billed duck before …

    February 15, 2015
    • Thank you Julie, I hadn’t seen it before either, though I have heard about it.

      February 15, 2015
  30. Another problem arises precisely because Australia’s birds are so beautiful. The illegal pet trade, I believe, threatens many; in fact I have seen many Australian birds (the Rainbow Lorikeet being one!) in Singapore because of it – they escape or are released and establish populations in the wild as a result, driving out actual native species.

    February 15, 2015
    • I hadn’t thought of that, and you are right of course, any introduced species is never good never seems to work out.

      February 15, 2015
  31. The Glossy Black Cockatoo takes the prize! I loved the Blue Billed Duck too. I’m happy you’re taking more bird pictures now 🙂

    February 15, 2015
    • Apparently it is a red tailed black cockatoo, but still beautiful. Thank you Tiny, it is nice to do something different. 🙂

      February 15, 2015
  32. Love the glossy cockatoo- I’ve never seen a black cockatoo and I love the spoonbill!

    February 15, 2015
    • We have them here a lot, they say if you see a yellow tailed one it means rain is coming, I’ve only seen them in the wild once. I love the spoon bill too, so proper. Thanks Cybele.

      February 15, 2015
  33. Fabulous photos! I love zoos. If I ever get to Melbourne….

    February 16, 2015
    • I think Melbourne has a fantastic Zoo, so if you get to Melbourne, it would be good to put on your list.

      February 16, 2015
  34. The first picture on here, the red and blue bird, is an Eclectus (sp?) Parrot. I live in the United States, and actually have one of these as a pet. She’s beautiful and looks almost identical to your picture, except she’s a little more red, and a little less blue. So cool to see all these amazing birds! Thank you for these pictures!

    February 17, 2015
    • How did you get an Australian bird for a pet, sorry I have to ask, it is just that we aren’t allowed to have them, I am pretty sure, they can come down hard on us for keeping them. they are very pretty birds though.

      February 17, 2015
      • Actually, she was someone else’s bird that they were no longer able to care for. I am not sure where she originally came from, or how she originally came into the country. She’s quite smart though, and speaks a few words. I had no idea you were unable to have them in Australia as pets!

        February 17, 2015
      • Actually I might have got it wrong, I know there is a big problem with bird smuggling, but I don’t know if that is one of the birds that it happens too. Regardless, it sounds like she is loved and well cared for. Really can’t ask for more than that.

        February 17, 2015
      • Yes, I did some research after you made the comment, and while they’re not common, I was able to find a picture of several eclectus parrots in our parrot care book. It does not seem like they’really illegal to own or import. She is very loved though, I can assure you. 😀

        February 17, 2015
      • I could tell by the way you spoke about her that you loved her. They probably are exported illegally, but some probably are done legally if that makes any sense. It is a bit of problem, possibly because they only allow a certain number to be exported. Do you have photos of her on your blog?

        February 17, 2015
      • I don’t currently, but I will have to add some now. 🙂

        February 17, 2015
      • Let me know when you please, I would love to see her. 🙂

        February 17, 2015
  35. The Royal Spoonbill shot, particularly good with its water effect.

    February 19, 2015
  36. GORGEOUS gallery of avian beauty, Leanne.

    February 19, 2015
  37. Oh my goodness Leanne! You’re hooked. And lucky you to be in a place with such amazing birds. You’ve done wonderfully with this series. You’re a pro!

    February 21, 2015
    • Haha, well while I have the lens, yes, not sure what will happen when the lens is returned, though I have been dreaming of a 600mm Nikon lens, but I know it will be a reality. Thanks Emily, I might show more tomorrow.

      February 21, 2015
  38. Those pictures are so beautiful! Bravo!
    Check mine too if you have time sometime =)

    February 23, 2015
  39. I love photographing birds. You’ve got some beauties there Leanne. Loved the one of the cockatoo. I think if you ever come up this way, you, Karen and I should do a trip to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I love the birdlife in that place.

    February 23, 2015
    • Sounds like a good idea Sue, would be great, I’m going to Healesville Sanctuary on Sunday, looking forward to that. Thanks Sue.

      February 23, 2015

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