Birder's Guide

MAR 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 19 of 75

20 Best Birds in Australia 18 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2016 green backs, bright yellow bellies, purple breasts, and pale blue rumps, but that's not all. Males usually have either black or bright red heads. On very rare occasions, males with golden yellow heads are ob- served. While the species is common in captivity, wild populations have declined in recent decades, and birders must be will- ing to travel long distances to fnd it in the tropical savannas of the north. Its colors echo of its varied environment: green ri- parian vegetation, black burned trees, blue cloudless skies, yellow parched grasses, red sandstone cliffs, and deep purple sunsets. #13 • Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulates) This entire list could have been flled with parrots, since Australia harbors some of the most varied and colorful psittacids in the world. The Budgerigar is the classic Australian parrot. This is one of the most familiar birds of the world, but seeing one in the wild in Australia is far from guaran- teed. It's a typical, nomadic outback spe- cies. Flocks wander widely in search of food sources nourished by unpredictable rains. Birders lucky enough to fnd them soon discover—after experiencing the focks of wild yellow-and-green parrots wheeling over grassy felds and through scattered eucalypts—that this species is anything but commonplace. #14 • Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) Its raucous, maniacal song (which has graced many movies set in tropical climes, no matter the actual geographic location) is the quintessential sound of the Australian bush. While this kingfsher, the largest in Australia, barely made it onto this list, I feel like it would have been unjust to leave it off. Its sheer size, dark mask, and pow - erful bill impart a ferce look. It is very # 10 # 11 # 12 Photo © Ed Dunens Photo © Alwyn Simple Photo © Mark Sanders (EcoSmart Ecology)

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