Gitie's blog

What is Your Bird's Personality?

Every bird has its own unique personality, likes and dislikes.  Some are extroverts and like socialising.  Others are shy and feel more comfortable with just one or two friends,  preferring  to sit quietly by themselves till the crowds have gone.  Some are bold and daring, ready to try new things.  Some love singing and will croon loudly. Some never stop chirping and have much to say, while others will have their regular chat-times in the day when they will sit in their favourite nook and chortle.  And some are bossy, and lose no time in sending the others off to their bidding. There will always be some bird who is in alarmist, crying wolf at the smallest shadow and sending others off in a frenzy.

 Dimpy pied-butcherbird having a drink

 The best way to observe them is at the water bath.   Their behaviour and sound will give you many clues about their personality.

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Recognising Individual Birds - Part 4

In the first three parts we examined three key features we can use to recognise birds from a distance.  The fourth way that I am going to tell you about today is one of my favourites, but it does require the birds to be close enough for detailed observation.  Another way would be to use a pair of binoculars.

The method I'm talking about is to look at their plumage patterns.  Like our fingerprints, the feathers of each bird forms a distinctive pattern.

Look at the three peewees in the picture below.  At first glance you may think that they all look the same.  But look again more carefully at the details of the black white feathers and you will three separate patterns. 

 peewee family 

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Recognising Individual Birds - Part 3

 In the previous posts we looked at two methods of recognising individual birds:

1. Using shape, form and size, and

2. Using their general characteristics.

Australian magpie family pottering on the ground

In this post we'll examine another useful technique namely, identifying them from their posture and movement.

Birds are much like humans in this regard.  Not only do they have unique physical features, shape and form - each bird also moves as uniquely as does each human being.

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How To Recognise Individual Birds - Part 2

 Today we continue to look at the key features that enable us to recognise individual birds.

Once our eyes get used to the differences in the shapes and sizes of the birds in a species.  We can start training ourselves to look for more distinguishing characteristics. 

  • Look at the top of their heads?  Does the bird have a smooth or fuzzy head? Is it more round or slightly flat?
  • Does the bird have a crest, if so how big is it?
  • Then look at their shape of the wings.  Do they sag or are they folded tightly?Renutu noisy-miner sittin on the line
  • Does the right wing cross over the left, or the other way round or do they meet nicely in the centre?
  • Look at the patterns of colour around their faces, necks, chests, backs, legs and wings. In the examples below you will see the shapes are different for each bird, even though at first glance the birds appear to be similar.
  • How long is their beak?  What is the shape of their mouths?
  • Do they have any distinguishing parks on their beaks and cheeks?

In the picture on the right (above), the shape of the mask around the eyes, under the chin as well as the marks where the beaks 

meet the cheek are all individual characteristics.  Renutu (noisy-miner) does not have a goatie in the centre of his mask unlike his sister Chipkin in the picture below.


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How To Recognise Individual Birds - Part 1

noisy-miners on the washing line 'How will I tell which bird I am talking to?'' -  this is a problem that perplexes many bird lovers. 

The human brain faces many challenges in trying to recognise individual birds.

Firstly the birds are much smaller than us which makes their unique features harder for our eyes to spot.  Our eyes also cannot see many of the colours in the indigo-violet range unlike the birds who can see many more frequencies of colour than us.  To make matters more difficult the smaller birds in particular don't sit still long enough for eyes to get a proper fix on them to be able to notice and learn their individual characteristics.

Our brains need some training and time to get used to the bird patterns. Once we know what to look for it becomes much easier to identify them.

There are 6 easy ways to recognise a bird.  Over the next few days we'll cover each of these in more detail.

In today's post we'll look at the first key: Shape, Form and Size.

Every bird is unique regardless of the species. Look at their general shape and size.  Try and spot the differences:

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