Thursday, 28 April 2011

New winter outfit

The blady grass and lomandra clumps that are the main vegetation of our front paddock are ideal habitat for one of the most unusual birds on the property, the Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianinus.  Coucals are part of the cuckoo family but unlike their relatives they make their own nest and raise their young. The Pheasant Coucal is Australia's only Coucal and is found in coastal regions through northern Australia and down the east coast to about 200k south of Sydney. They are ungainly birds in the air taking short flapping and gliding flights and generally prefer to run through the long rank grass. They are seen often perched on a low vantage point above the grass taking the sun and quickly drop into the grass if disturbed. Through the summer breeding season they have black body plumage but as we have the first taste of winter weather it has been replaced by their winter finery. There were two enjoying the sun this morning as I was driving up the track and I managed to get a couple of photos to show off their winter fashion.

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