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, March 10, 2010

Raptors of Broome

One of the things you notice when travelling in northern Australia are the large numbers of birds of prey that occur there. Probably due to the warmer climate, wide open spaces and more animals generally, such as reptiles and small mammals.

Most have their preferred habitats, so you get to know which ones you may see where. These are some of the raptors of the Broome region that we saw during our recent trip there.

The Brahminy Kite, basically a bird of coastal areas, especially the mangroves along the coast in northern Australia. This one appears to be going through a moult.

Another raptor of coastal areas and large rivers is the wonderful White-bellied Sea-Eagle. The adult is a beautiful crisp white with a grey back and wings, but this juvenile still has lots of brown on him. Judging by the bulge in his throat, he also has a full crop, so he's doing well.

A common bird of prey that is often found on the dry open plains is the Brown Falcon. They usually swoop down on small animals, but I have also seen these guys running around bushes like chickens, chasing small reptiles.

One of my favourites is this Black-breasted Buzzard, which is usually identified by it's white windows on the wings. This was a young bird being given a hard time by a bunch of annoyed White-breasted Woodswallows, who spent a lot of time diving on his back.

One of the most common raptors of the dry arid regions of Australia, a Black Kite. These guys feed in most habitats and it's not uncommon to see dozens of them riding the thermals high into the sky. Towns, rubbish dumps and sewage ponds are often good places to see them.


Erica Houskeeper said...

Wow -- these are incredible photos! What gorgeous creatures. I think the Sea-Eagle shot is my favorite -- I love the determined look on his face.

Delson said...

Lovely Photographs, enjoyed looking at some new species, which we dont have here in India.
Your post on digital photography was thought provoking. All I can say is, because of digital cameras, the quality of Images has drastically improved. Its a blessing for nature

Penny said...

Thanks for dropping by, wish I had a decent camera but elderly, dairy farmers wives dont get a lot of priority in that regard so have to cope with my small camera.
Have put you on my favorite list, so nice to see the birds that are normally rather a long way away.

S.C.E. said...

Brahiminy Kites are such a beautiful bird, the only Kite species in Japan is the same Black Kite as you have in your pictures.........