This week’s ABC Open Pic of the Week is a chatter of budgerigars looking more like a swarm of budgies near Onslow, Western Australia.
Image Credit: Photograph by ABC Open contributor D. Joshua Brunner.
Bald Eagle and Red fox.
Image Credit: Photograph by Kevin Ebi/Audubon Photography Awards
Species: Bald Eagle. Location: San Juan Island National Historical Park, Friday Harbor, Washington.
Camera: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon EF 600mm f/4 IS lens; 1/320 second at f/11; ISO 1600.
Story Behind the Shot: I had spent the day photographing foxes and was panning with this kitten running with its prey when an unmistakable cry made me look up.
I just knew the eagle swooping our way was after the fox’s rabbit.
I expected to have only a split second to capture the theft in one explosive frame; instead the eagle snagged the fox and rabbit, carrying both 20 feet off the ground.
After eight seconds it dropped the fox, seemingly unharmed, and flew away with its stolen dinner.
Bird Lore: Bald Eagles eat pretty much anything they want to. Their penchant for dining on carrion may seem less than regal, but they are also powerful predators and pirates.
They capture a wide variety of fish, mammals, and birds, and don’t hesitate to steal others’ prey.
Image Credit: Norman Allchin/Shutterstock
Lorikeets: Things you didn’t know about them
Think you know everything about our kaleidoscopic lorikeets? Think again.
These birds are full of surprises.
LOUD, BELLIGERENT colonies of rainbow lorikeets are the soundtrack of urban Australia.
They live so close to us that we think we know everything there is to know about the iconic bird.
Here are a few facts you about rainbow lorikeets you may have missed. In some parts of Australia, they’re considered pests.
Okay, we know this is hard to believe, but even native species can be classed as pests if they extend their ranges.
And this is the case for the rainbow lorikeet. Rainbow lorikeets were introduced to Western Australia in the 1960s… by accident.
According to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the lorikeet population in Perth was established from fewer than 10 escaped or released caged birds.
The damage wrought by the birds is extensive. They’ve had a big impact on agriculture as they feast on cherry, apple, pear, stone fruit, grape and vegetable crops.
They’re also fierce protectors of these resources, and their breeding sites, which drives out other native species native to Perth.
A blue and yellow macaw along the Bala Gorge on the Beni River near the town of Rurrenabaque, Bolivia – the proposed site of the Bolivian government’s controversial El Bala Chepete hydroelectric dam.
Local indigenous people argue that the flooding would destroy flora and fauna and displace native people, putting the survival of their communities at risk.
Image Credit: Photograph: Aizar Raldes/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: Mariam Kamal/Audubon Photography Awards
Species: White-necked Jacobin
Location: Dave & Dave’s Nature Park, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Camera: Nikon D3300 with Tamron SP AF 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens; 1/250 second at f/6.3; ISO 200
Story Behind the Shot:
On my fifth trip to Costa Rica, my favorite birding spots produced a few measly sightings.
So I drove six hours to a reforestation site, which turned out to be well worth the trip.
For an hour I photographed a valiant troop of White-necked Jacobins consuming nectar from heliconias that swayed and bobbed in a forceful wind.
I could barely breathe as I snapped—I felt that I, too, was fighting to hang on!
Of the 350-plus species of hummingbirds, most have small geographic ranges.
Bucking the trend is the White-necked Jacobin, common from southern Mexico to southern Brazil.
It succeeds by being adaptable, occupying a wide variety of tropical forest and edge habitats.
Known for majestically soaring above the Tasmanian bushland, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (this one pictured was an injured wild bird being released) is slowly disappearing.
With population estimates hovering below 440 breeding adults the eagle are a serious part of the Tasmanian ecosystem.
Eating almost any small marsupials or mammals, most snake, lizards, fish and cats, the eagle is another top-order predator that keeps the balance of the ecosystem in check.
Because it lives all around Tasmania and has such a wide variety of prey, the eagle is not endangered because of shortage of habitat.
Its primary threat is its fragile nesting behaviour in which slight disruptions can scare a female away from her fertilised eggs. This occurs most frequently with human contact.
In addition, there are common persecutions from human when livestock are taken as prey. Chickens, geese and small or sick animals are sometimes seen as food options for the eagle, occasionally bringing them in contact with farmers.
Studies estimate that five per cent of adult eagles and 35 per cent of juvenile eagles are killed each year from human contact.