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.

118px-Magpie_samcem05 curracrop

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.

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About yaussiechick

Dual citizen of Australia and America loving life and wanting to share my love of writing and life with others.

Posted on February 16, 2013, in Narrative, Wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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