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In times like these …

August 2, 2013

_MG_4935Winter is a really tough time to be blogging about wildlife recovery. All self-respecting fauna are snuggled down, cosy and warm in their hollows or nests, probably sniggering as I wander past in the freezing cold and roaring gales camera in hand, looking for them.

In times like these I have to rely on the old standards … birds and animals that are around all the time and never get a mention on the blog for that very reason. With that in mind I introduce a bird that even in winter I see darting among the _MG_4933grevilleas, the Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorynchus tenuirostris, from the Greek acantha meaning ‘spine’, rhunkhos meaning ‘bill’, and the Latin tenuis meaning ‘thin’ or ‘slender’ and rostrum meaning ‘bill’). Originally it was called the Slender-billed Spine-bill—one look at the photo and it is not hard to see why.

These birds are honeyeaters. The fine curved bill is used to probe the insides of flowers to extract the pollen and nectar. The male (pictured) has a black crown. All members of our household think the male has very handsome markings. The yellow flash on the head is a smearing of pollen from its lunch. The female has a grey crown. To hear to the call please listen to the clip from DJ Macwake’s extensive hip-hop avian audio library:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. chris339 permalink
    August 2, 2013 8:38 am

    I think they are quite handsome, too.

  2. August 2, 2013 8:58 am

    Superb photos, Ron !

    D & L

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