July 23 - 29, 2017: Issue 322

Winter Bird Party

By Joanne Seve
As can happen on brilliant blue winter days, birds will congregate in someone's yard and enjoy the sunshine or have a feed together if there's bush food on hand.

Regular contributor has sent in these great photos of a family of Kookaburras, Cockatoos, Magpies and resident mynahs to share with our younger readers.

Looks like Joanne is getting ready for this years annual Bird Australia Bird count and she wont have to go too far as these pictures were all taken in her own backyard.

For those wondering which are the baby kookaburras and which are the mum and dad- the ones with the fluffier looking top feathers are the young. 

Kookaburras are family oriented birds. Their groups usually consisting a breeding couple, other adult non-breeding birds (who share the load with incubation, baby sitting, feeding, teaching skills necessary for survival and defending territory boundaries), immature birds from previous broods and juveniles. 

The Kookaburra rarely eat fish despite their Kingfisher name, nor do they drink much water, being like raptors (birds of prey like eagles, owls) and getting most of their moisture from their prey. They eat small snakes, lizards, rats, mice, snails, worms, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, beetles, caterpillars, ants, yabbies & crayfish, spiders, frogs, the odd small bird, various insects and invertebrates. They watch in silence from a vantage point in a tree, and then swoop down to catch the prey.

Magpies are another local bird that is family orientated, has a wonderful song, and will keep a good balance between insects and pests we need and not having too many of them.

Time for Joanne's photos - they can tell you their own story!:-