Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The Eastern spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) is one of the smallest honeyeaters, curious and trusting enough for me to be able to pick him up off the verandah step where he was standing, just standing, almost trancelike.

The arch of the black beak is perfect for nectar gathering especially from the Grevilleas covered in masses of flowers at the moment. Now that's a red eye, and no flash! The lovely olive coloured feathers behind the cinnamon collar suggest he's an immature, and maybe a fledgling I thought by the way he wobbled off through the air after staring at me for a few minutes.

How small? This small -

What was especially pleasing was the amazing detail I lucked on with the iPhone, which I usually can't manage at close range. And one-handed too.


David said...

Now THAT's what I call rich and rare. Not even the tame blackbirds here will let you (or rather me) pick them up. Exquisite detail.

Anonymous said...


The cynic in me says trusting because young, or possibly unwell.

wanderer said...

Do you know David, we have English Blackbirds here, moving seasonally along the East Coast, and it's interesting that their call, to me at least, while pretty and trilly, is noticeably thin and limpid compared to the locals, and mostly sounds dislocated and out of place. They are around at the moment.

M, that's exactly what I thought as I saw it standing completely still - oh, it's dead and stuck upright - and was amazed when I could pick it up. But reading more, I find they are incredibly tame and inquisitive. I wonder I haven't seen more, but then maybe Millie sees them first.

Susan Scheid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Scheid said...

Wow! and with an iPhone, too. I have never had a wild bird land in my hand. Lucky you, and therefore lucky us to see the photos.