With an abundance of birds that are fairly used to people, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve along the Williamstown coastline is a good place to practice bird photography.
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Great shots, especially the magpie and honeyeaters. These are familiar birds up in the mountains. As a bird expert, have you ever seen magpies lie on the ground in the sun with their wings laid out either side? Another bird usually hangs around as a guard. Do you have any idea why they do this? It’s very strange.
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Thanks Sue, I appreciate the comments. I have also seen birds doing this, I even have a post from Mallacoota showing a few images of a small patch of sun being shared by a few species. https://maltpadaderson.com/2016/02/15/sun-baking-at-double-creek/ .
Playing golf I have seen several magpies sun-baking on the rim of a bunker, lying in the sand with their bills open. I thought someone had killed them and had displayed them as some sort of gruesome display. I got very close them for a look and they popped up, warbled at me and flew off. I though that maybe it was about warming their bodies and feathers to help agitate mites and lice to make them easier to find and remove but the literature does not support that idea. I found this link on one of my fav reference sites – http://birdlife.org.au/australian-birdlife/detail/sunny-side-up. It is an interesting read and does talk about magpies.
I missed this reply at the time, thank you for the link. I had no idea sunning was a thing, and it seems like we don’t really have a clue why they do it. The “need more sun” argument doesn’t hold much water for magpies in Canberra in the summer, nor are they cold or in need of drying out. Those things are well taken care of. Although I haven’t seen this magpie behaviour here in Cootamundra, my new home, where it is quite a bit warmer in summer. A great mystery.
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