Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Last Saturday afternoon, in awesome summery weather, I happened across a pair of Dollarbirds on the corner of Penrose and Quarry Roads.

Dollarbirds are the only representative of the roller family that visits our shores. With their red bills, deep purples and white, coin-like, underwing markings, they are one of the most striking of Australia's migratory birds. Each Spring they arrive from PNG and islands close to PNG. I was most fortunate to see the male of the pair bob his head, cackle and carry on for a minute, then attempt to copulate with his mate. I've never seen this in over twenty years of birding. The literature I have accessed speaks nothing of a Dollarbird's courtship theatrics/rituals.

At the markets on Saturday, I bumped into local birder Tony Stanton, who informed me he's got Dollarbirds hunting cicadas in his backyard near Morton NP.

It's great to know Bundanoon is a preferred destination for these wandering gems.

LJ, October 27 2010

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