Bird Weekly Challenge – Birds That Start With ‘C’

Gee, my post title is a bit punny, don’t you think? I amuse myself. This week I am dropping in a quick contribution to Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge. I’m too busy on my hols at the moment to sort through photos, so I will limit my contribution to just one bird, the Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) or crestie for short. It is an easy one for me since the cresties are regular visitors to my garden.

Last month, I heard the currawongs (no photos this time) singing in huge numbers outside my front door. It had just started to rain and the rain was acting as chief choir master and choreographer, hence the joint was jiving. So I grabbed my camera and sat on the wet door step to enjoy the performance. Not long after that, the cresties rocked up.

Cresties were formerly restricted to arid inland areas of Australia but have now taken up residence in urban areas too. They prefer lightly wooded grassland with a reliable water source as they must drink every day. There must be quite a few bird baths in our area because there are many cresties in the vicinity. Cresties feed mostly on native seeds (someone should tell them that African Love Grass is not native!) and some insects. They also like the dregs of the mostly eaten canary seed we throw out on our front yard every few days.

I find cresties quite skittish and easily startled when approached. However since I was already seated, they were quite happy to go about their business in my front yard. At first they looked for some leftover canary seed, then because it was raining lightly and the ants were on the move, they decided to settle in for some therapeutic anting (dust-bathing but with insects).

Happy birds, happy life.

Unfortunately, I have difficulty getting birds nicely in (auto)focus even when they are still and the light is good. I did some research and found that it is a common problem with my brand of camera. Phew! However, getting a new beaut camera wouldn’t necessarily solve all my problems, not until I come to grips with some photography basics and grow some biceps. So I thought I should persist and learn how to ‘manual’ focus. It’s a big step for me. Success. Kind of.

Manual focus is no panacea (and bloody difficult) but it will keep me off the streets for a while yet. I was very tired yesterday so I took a blanket out to the front yard and had a lie down. The dogs make lying down in the backyard rather tricky and the birds are not welcomed. I was astonished when this crestie joined me. I think it was hoping for some canary seed but no such luck.

Anyway, I had better get back to ‘it’.

Take care, everyone.

Kind Regards.

30 thoughts on “The C Bird – Crested Pigeon

  1. I’ve always loved birds and so very much look forward to seeing your photos of all the avian residents around you. These cresties are lovely, especially with the long crest and their delicate coloring. The shot you captured of the three in the tree is truly gorgeous. The most unusual bird I’ve seen in the wild (if you can call suburban Southern California wild) is the black crested night heron. Somehow, even the very first time I spotted one along a dribble of a creek near our neighborhood, I knew it was some kind of heron. I don’t know how to transfer a photo from my files to your page here, so I can’t show you.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. The crested pigeons really are a sweet little bird. They seem to be doing well this year despite the large number of migrant cuckoos that are vexing our local bird population.
      I’m not sure I’ve even seen a night heron. I checked it out on ebird. They are very striking. That would have been quite some bird to see. Lucky you.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. We have strange birds here. The cresties travel through the grass in pods. I often see them sleeping under trees in the shade or out in the sun where the ants are active. The ants crawl into their feathers and emit formic acid which is a natural insecticide and fungicide. Quite a few birds do this activity but the cresties seem particularly fond of it.

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  2. You did these in manual? They are wonderful, Tracy! I am bound and determined to stay in manual mode, but my folder for ‘overexposed photos’ keeps growing ever larger.

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  3. We enjoy the crested pigeons in our garden too, Tracy. They are always present, waiting for the wayward seeds to drop from from the redeployed greenhouse/bird feeder as they’re not dexterous enough to grip onto the metal poles. You didn’t mention their libidinous behaviour….there’s frequent carrying on in the shrubbery at our place at all times of the year!
    Your manual photos are excellent. I have no idea how to do that.

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    1. It’s a good thing you enjoy them, Jane, because if they continue with their friskiness, they will hopefully be with us for a while. They seem to have found a comfortable niche in and around our parks and gardens.
      If autofocus works for you, Jane, stick with that. My arms turned to jelly trying to maintain that focus.


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