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Featured in Environmental Awareness Group

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This Little Friarbird was sitting on the branch, then it suddenly looked at the leaf beside it and quickly pecked at something. It appeared to eat whatever it was. I thought it was either a piece of the leaf or maybe an insect. At the time it looked to me that it had eaten a piece of the leaf as it pulled its head back as if it was tearing it. I thought they may all be eating bits of the tree. I have another photo where one of these birds obviously has a small green grasshopper in its beak. There may have been a swarm of the grasshoppers in the trees and the birds were enjoying a feast.

I have now discovered the local name for this bird is Leather Head.

The large group of birds haven’t been back since while I’ve been watching. Individuals are around occasionally. When I took this photo they were all being very happy and noisy and they have a very pretty song. They didn’t remind me of crows or anything like that. Looking at their heads in the photos they remind me of vultures – but that wasn’t obvious watching them flit around the trees.

This location is in the wet tropics about 100km south of Cairns and is on the coast, Mission Beach is about 15 km from the house by road but would be much closer by bird flight. By wet tropics I mean really wet. Tully is the closest town and it is officially the wettest town in Australia – it gets a lot of rain.

It is possible the bird is something that has come out of the rainforest. Most of the rainforest has been cut down around here now, and the trees out in front of my house are from seeds of rainforest trees that someone has propogated and planted to provide shade for the house and to give the displaced birds something to eat.

The original rainforest from about Tully north looks like pictures you see of thick tropical jungle. Anything could be living in there and not be known about. I’ve never seen this bird before this year – but maybe it is something really well known that I’ve never seen before. I don’t live around here any more – but did grow up here and lived here for many years until the early 1980’s.

Most of the trees that have been planted in front of the house are still not much bigger than seedlings. I hope no one digs them out as they will be very good at shading the house and I am looking forward to there being interesting birds in them in the future. Unfortunately they have been planted on public land and I have to return to Brisbane and there are a lot of people around here who would dig them all out becase at the moment it is hard to mow the grass around them. You have to use a push mower instead of a ride on mower to mow around them. When they are full grown I suspect there will be no grass under them to mow. They’ve been there for about a year now.

My practical painting tutors include people from the Flying Art School (1978 to 1981), the Studio West End (2004 to 2010) and the Brisbane Institute of Art (2008 to 2011).

I began printmaking in 2004 at the Studio West End, then started again there in 2006.I have done it constantly since 2006 at either the Studio West End or the Brisbane Institute of Art.

Darkroom techniques were obtained from the Brisbane Institute of Art beginning in 2009.

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  • Julie  White
    Julie Whitealmost 3 years ago

    Awesome capture well done.

  • Thank you Julie. I had been taking multiple photos of this group of about 6 or 8 birds and had my camera on this one wondering if it would do anything interesting and it did so I just clicked as it moved and grabbed the leaf or something off the leaf. Your comment and fav are appreciated.

    – STHogan

  • sentimentum
    sentimentumalmost 3 years ago

    This would look good in the enviormental awareness group :)

  • I didn’t know about that group. I tracked it down and have joined and submitted this photo. Thanks for the suggestion. I hope someone there enjoys it. I am not really organised with groups yet. I have joined a few but haven’t got many images in many of them.

    – STHogan

  • Ron Co
    Ron Coalmost 3 years ago

    What distinctive looking bird, almost a turkey head .A search through my “Simpson & Day” I only found 3 possibles p226 one of the friarbirds family, p.164 the Albert’s Lyrebird although I don’t think that is far north enough more NSW/Queensland border area? or page 124 Topknot Pigeon?? although the legs are not right for this one
    Darn , hope a person who knows birds can ID it for you . Sad about the rainforest , we were there in the time of Expo and it was full on destruction at the time , often wondered if anything would be left intact, they were selling 5 and 10 acre lots and when I asked what we could do with it the answer was "anything , make a car park if you want! "
    Scarey stuff

  • It appears to be a Noisy Friarbird.
    The rainforest is even scarier than that – I heard of locals who purchased a large part of it many years ago and they were forced by Govt to bulldoze it or lose it. They had to clear a certain percentage each year. They put cattle on it. That was in the 1970’s – I don’t know what policy is now. I suppose it depends on if you have freehold or not. I think those people must have had some sort of special lease.
    – STHogan

    – STHogan

  • Ron Co
    Ron Coalmost 3 years ago

    Where would we be without the wisdom of our elders in Government through the ages ? Somewhere a darn sight better I expect,Tasmania is still working on the same role model I swear , the Govt is doing everything it can to prop up a dead forestry, wood chip and now the proposed pulp mill ………
    it is all very well to say history will show who is right meanwhile they bulldoze life off the face of the earth in the search for more industries and power and. sick world at times

  • Many years ago I saw a painting hanging in the Queensland Art Gallery. I don’t know the name of the aboriginal person who painted it – but I loved the title. It was of a cargo ship sinking in the ocean. The ship was taking woodchip from Tasmania to somewhere in Asia. The title of the painting was something like ‘A Very Happy Disaster’.

    About the rainforest, I am confused about the land they are selling for housing here. It is all about conserving the rainforerst and protecting cassoweries – but they seem to be still selling new blocks and clearing more rainforest for them. However, if you are a farmer and have cleared land that you can’t grow anything on for various reasons, then you can’t subdivide it. It is all a bit weird. I haven’t looked into it so don’t actually know what is going on. You could make all sorts of cynical comments about it – but none of it will change anything.

    – STHogan

  • sentimentum
    sentimentumover 2 years ago

    Congratulations your image and text has been featured
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