a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
The surprising diversity of the birds of the arid habitats of Australia...
While the diversity of birds in the Australian arid areas is not high compared to the other habitats on the continent, and the equivalent arid areas of Africa, there are many interesting species to be found...
Ocyphaps lophotes, 'Crested Pigeon'.
Acanthagenys rufogularis, 'Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater'.
Petroica goodenovii, 'Red-capped Robin'. Found in many drier habitats across Australia.
Melanodryas cucullata, 'Hooded Robin'. Found in open habitats over much of Australia.
Oreoica gutturalis, 'Crested Bellbird'. One of the birds most distinctive of the Australian arid habitats. The black bib and bright orange eye are distinct features of the male. They are usually seen hopping along the ground between mulga bushes, where they apparently feed on insects and seeds. Their call is one of central Australia's most evocative and far-carrying; a repetitive and slightly honking morse code; the first two notes slow, and the following three much quicker. Often, the male and female do a duet, with the male making this previous call, and the female accenting the last notes with her more honking bell like notes.
Taeniopygia guttata, 'Zebra Finch'.
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? The first expedition I am booked to work on after the virus is Micronesia, New Guinea & Indonesia in 2021 with Silversea.