And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spinifex Pigeons

During our last trip, I managed to get some good video of Spinifex Pigeons. This is a video of the wonderful Spinifex Pigeons (Geophaps plumifera) found at Ormiston Gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs. This is the white-bellied race (leucogaster) found in the outback of arid Australia.

The colours and bodies of these birds are well-adapted to the harsh hot and dry conditions of the outback. The colours match the rocky areas they inhabit. They also have metabolic adaptions that give them the ability to forage through the hottest part of the day, meaning that these birds can forage while most competitors and predators are resting from the heat .

The birds you can hear in the background are the piping calls of Red-browed Pardalotes and the harsh chatter of Brown Honeyeaters.



7 comments:

Wilma said...

That was a really fun video to watch. With that wild top-knot, they look like Dr. Seuss dreamt them up. And the colors are so great. Really enjoyed it.

Richard King said...

Thanks Wilma. I think they are one of, if not the most beautiful pigeons in Australia. They are a joy to watch. They often run like little chickens in front of the car when you're driving slowly along an outback track.

James said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, especially as now I have found your blog. I'll be following it with great interest from now on. I love the video. Excelent quality and very interesting.

mick said...

Fantastic quality on that video and great views of a bird most of us will never see. The sound track was excellent. Are you just using the the inbuilt mic or do you have an external one?

Richard King said...

Hi Mick. I usually use my external Rode shotgun mic, but I often also get local sound with my ZOOM recorder, especially if there are man-made noises at the time of video.

S.C.E. said...

Great video.............what an odd looking Pigeon!

Anne said...

Am I right in thinking that pigeons in general are altricial, born unfeathered with their eyes closed? If so, is that the case with the spinifex pigeon which is able to run and fly so soon after birth? How long does it take them to open their eyes? Do you know about honeyeaters and the amount of time it takes them to do so? THanks for your help.