Tuesday, November 18, 2014


These tiny grass finches (Emblema temporalis) are some of the smallest birds around here. Not much bigger than a gum leaf! 

They like country with grassy areas surrounded by shrubs and trees (yes, that's us) and feed in small groups. They are tame enough to risk the open grasses close to the house, but alert enough that even the slightest movement inside a window sends them scattering. They have strong partner bonds, and it's wonderful to see pairs together in the larger flock.

It's taken ages to get these photos. They arrive in late spring / early summer when the grass is seeding (their preferred food, along with small insect and berries) and so it was a matter on lying on the bed (not too difficult) with the camera waiting in the late afternoon.

I'm wondering if one keeps lookout. 

The photos haven't been adjusted other than being cropped zoom shots which exaggerate the impact of the brilliant red markings. In the field, they are so small that the red isn't that obvious and the overall colours of grey-olive make a perfect disguise against predators.


David said...

Gorgeous little darlings. Why do you get so much bird colour there? I love it that galaaas and rainbow lorikeets are domestic pests. Mind you, our green parakeets up and down the Thames are now regarded by some as such. I love the flash of green, and even the noise, every time.

Susan Scheid said...

Oh, what beauties they are! Nice going, getting these photographs.

wanderer said...

They are pets (especially king parrots) to the extent people feed them which is frowned upon and yes, the colours have to be seen to be believed, and you have.

But not all are so blessed - the harmonica bird (there's a clue) for one is dull to the eye but so so lovely on the ear.