Monday, 18 January 2016
Nature Photo Challenge #2: Victoria's Riflebird
Occasionally, birds fly at high speed into the window panes and do themselves a mischief. (Sometimes they do it at low speed, apparently for entertainment. I'm looking at you, white-bellied cuckoo-shrikes.)
On Sunday afternoon, this female Victoria's riflebird smacked into the kitchen window. I picked her up and put her in a quiet spot and then, like the appalling opportunist I am, took a photo of her.
Victoria's riflebird is one of four species of birds of paradise found in Australia. (The others are two more species of riflebird and the trumpet manucode.) Adult males are black and shimmering blue and their wing feathers make the sound of rustling taffeta as they pass. Females (and young males) have more sober plumage. But what they lack in drama, they make up with subtlety: their breast feathers are mottled black and their wing and belly feathers are shades of russet and rust.
This bird flew off a short while later. As a measure of her gratitude, she pooped all over my car bonnet before heading into the forest.