Local wildlife!

Continuing the discussion from Where on Earth are you!? Show us the sights from your part of the world:

There are lots of birds in the hereabouts. A red-wattle bird lives in my garden and tries to monopolise my Grevilleas against the frequent depredations of little honeyeaters, blue-faced honeyeaters, rainbow lorikeets, and (in Spring) noisy friarbirds. Black cockatoos occasionally monster my Banksias. White ibis stalk my lawns in the early morning, but seem to avail naught against the army grubs. Magpies and pewees make sure that the dawns sound properly Australian. I see cattle egrets on the pastures, black ducks, wood ducks, waterhens and sometimes swans on the river (but I never see spoonbills here any more, perhaps because of the feral geese). Sometimes an osprey will fish the river, or a Brahminy kite fly over. We get white-breasted sea-eagles occasionally, and sometimes, for a rare treat, see a wedge-tailed eagle. During the bushfires I even had a satin bowerbird come to my dog’s foot-bath for water.

But my favourites? Tawny frogmouths:



Oh, alright!

Obligatory photo of macropods:


I don’t remember that “Tie Me Kangaroo Down” has a verse about frogmouths.

Podargus strigoides, since Roger asks.

The photo in my second post depicts two Macropus rufogriseus, three Macropus giganteus, and a Homo sapiens sapiens × neanderthalensis

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I’m no animalologist but I’m not really sure what we might have around here that’s interesting enough to write home about, much less post on a forum. There’s a beautiful bird that’s nesting in the neighbors yard that, if I can, I’ll take a picture of.

But I’m delighted to see some furry objects foreign to me!

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Okay, a few local-to-Ontario bits of wildlife:

This is one of the (two) groundhogs (buttus extremus cutieus) that lives in our backyard. His/her name is Bert, and he/she is responsible for maintaining the backyard and eating any vegetables from our garden that we don’t really like.

Lots of ducks, primarily mallards I believe (notrabbitus seasonus) live in many of the waterways all towns. There are also geese, but those things are mean and I refuse to take pictures of the angry snake-birds.

An enormous number of buns (lagomorph bun) live in the area we live in. Here we see a lowly “duke bun”, the largest of the bun species (as we all know, the smaller the bun, the more noble… we have once seen a king bun in our front yard).

Lastly, a considerable number of skunks (smellus kittenus) live in Southern Ontario and near our home. They are adorable and completely harmless as long as you don’t move.

Other than this, there are deer (in smaller towns) and raccoons (in bigger towns), and recently there’s been a fox that has moved into our neighbourhood but he moves to quickly for us to get a picture of… yet.

His name is Theo and we love him. He is super cute.


Mephitis mephitis is charming, when observed from a safe distance. They may look like kitties, but that rolling gait of theirs is quite distinctive.

It’s a curious thing that skunk-based cartoon characters tend to be lovers—both Pepe le Pew and Miss Ma’mzelle Hepzibah are born romantics.


I cannot dispute the justice of that observation.

Better than most birds at looking like a bit of tree.

We get some crows (but I think they compete with the kites), magpies, once in a while a patrol of ducks in formation; closer to the ground, robins and dunnocks and occasional finches and bluetits. The actual ground environment is more urban, so occasional rats, and there’s a cat called Wilson who is the terror of all things small and squeaky. (And indeed he’s taken a swipe at everyone I know who’s met him, except me.)

Around here I’ve seen geese flying overhead (and being very loud!) and we have sparrows nesting in a birdhouse on our balcony (there when we moved in), robins all over the place, and red-winged blackbirds (elegant little guys with red and yellow epaulets). We haven’t as many crows as in Riverside, but I hear their voices from time to time.

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This isn’t a very good photograph, but there was a female Pacific koel on my garden gate yesterday:


Since that sort of thing didn’t happen unless there were pictures:


And so as not to give the impression that it’s all about the birds, here’s my new lodger, an Australian house gecko. He is a surprisingly noisy roomie.


That’s three separate non-venomous creatures (assuming I’ve got the right gecko species). Are you in a weird non-venom-favouring microclimate or something? :slight_smile:


Not particularly. Eastern brown snakes are common here. This is where you get the northern funnel-web spider. And I live close to the centre of the range of the giant stinging tree. That is, in these parts we have the world’s second-most venomous snake, most venomous spider, and second-most venomous tree. They are just rather shy and not especially photogenic.

It’s generally fine so long as you don’t touch anything. @DamnTheMan laughed at me for refusing to touch anything when we were hiking in New Mexico, but it gets to be a habit.


Rainbow lorikeets playing at being feathered Christmas-tree ornaments:

And fleeing from paparazzi:


If you take enough photos you get a good one:


How common are such brightly-coloured birds in your area, as opposed to well-camouflaged ones?

Nothing else is quite as brightly coloured as a rainbow lorikeet– there are no rosellas hereabouts. But we see galahs and fig-parrots from time to time, and rainbow bee-eaters are pretty colourful (though more elusive than the lorikeets). There are bright blue wrens and kingfishers. Quite a lot of birds are conspicuously white, black, or black-and-white. There are grey and striped birds too, of course, ranging from black ducks to those frogmouths I showed you before. But on the whole the diurnal birds don’t seem very keen on camouflage.

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Here’s another local with misplaced ideas about being camouflaged:

spider concealed as a courtesy to arachnophobes