Birds of America Versus the Australian Birds
The majority of my life has been in the United States. When I moved to start my life in Australia with my dream man, I never expected to end up recognizing the bird life of my new country more than the country of my birth. Many Americans who read this will probably not like what I am about to say but to me, the birds in the country of my birth are rather bland. There are some beauties there but when I think about the diversity that is in Australia, I am blown away.
I guess maybe I took the birds for granted back in Louisiana. Both countries have pelicans and robins. There are no cardinals in Australia. There is a diversity of parrots in Australia as well. Both countries have egrets as well as cowbirds. I think within the time that I have lived in Australia, I can tell you just by the call what bird it is or it’s appearance. I recall right before I left Louisiana I would wake up early in the morning trying to relish the birds. I spend less time outside in Australia then I did when I was growing up but I can still identify birds whether it is by call or sight more than I could in Louisiana.
There are two birds that are in the same family but are different in Australia. I love both of their calls. They are called Bell-Magpies. One is the Currawong and the other I am referring to is the Australian Magpie. They each have a distinctive call. The difference between a currawong and an Australian magpie is that the magpie has a crown of white on the back of its neck. The magpie also has a beautiful melodious call. The smaller picture on the left is of a magpie and the one on the right is a currawong. I am sure you could also google the calls to hear if you are so inclined.
In the ten years that I have lived in Australia, I know I can identify at least 10 birds native to this country. I don’t think I can do that for birds in Louisiana. I sit and try but I am sure that I am not exaggerating. There are kookaburras, magpies, currawongs, willy wag tails, crows, rainbow lorikeets, whip birds, butcherbirds, honey eaters, and rosellas. I did that easily without hesitation with in 30 seconds. I will now try to do the same for American birds. I can remember robins, sparrows, crows, red-headed woodpeckers, pigeons, and cardinals. This took me a fair bit longer. I know this sounds biased and perhaps it is but I am just being truthful with myself.
There are birds that aren’t so lovely to look at like the white Ibis. The first time I saw one of them I was thinking to myself: YUCK! It reminded me of a bird you would imagine in Alice In Wonderland. I imagine them being used for croquet. I had been a bit freaked out but they aren’t so bad just not one of the prettiest bird in my personal opinion.
I do miss some birds from growing up. I miss hearing the tapping of the woodpecker. The sad fact is I just can’t recall much from then because I hear birds in Australia most of the day where as in Louisiana, I pretty much heard them mostly at dawn and dusk.
I am only scratching the surface of the birds in Australia. The parrots here are various. I never really saw black cockatoos until I moved to the Coffs Coast. I had seen some on Sutton Road close to Queanbeyan in April 2004. I think the black cockatoos like to be where there is rain which explains why they are around the Coffs Coast because it rains quite a lot here. Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are pretty abundant as well as Galahs.
I’m thankful that I get to be around such a wonderful area with such an abundance of birds. I will be sharing something soon about possums but for now I will stop with the birds.