Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Holland Honeyeater

Today it is 38 degreees Celsius, and while I waited for a bus, I watched a New Holland Honeyeater in a tree, with its beak wide open, which is how birds cool themselves down.  It was amazingly wide open.  After a while it fluttered to a beautiful purple bloom (this was a Jacaranda Tree), poked its beak inside and helped itself to nectar.  These little birds also eat insects.  They are common along the Australian coastline, which is where they gained their name (Australia used to be called New Holland, presumably by the Dutch explorers.  Notice the slightly curving beak, which helps it to raid blossoms for nectar.  It favours grevilleas, banksias and gum trees (eucalypts) but as I saw today, it will utilise imported trees too.

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