I was at FH2O‘s house this morning and had to look in on the little hatchies in a tree. I also wanted to see the ‘black on top and white underneath bird’ myself because I was only 80% sure which bird this is based on Unker’s photos.

I parked under the tree as Francis instructed and shot a number of photos through the windshield. My 80% became 95%. I’m sure it’s some kind of flycatcher, but have to look at my bird book to confirm. When I got home, I found the bird I was looking for.

It’s a skittish bird called the Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) or a “murai gila” – identified by white tailtips (underside), throat and eyebrows. We have one that visits our backyard periodically.

I thought it might be the Little Pied Flycatcher at first, because Francis said it was ‘black on top’, but it’s really brown and not chubby enough to fit the bill.

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Pied Fantails are called “fantails” because they flick-fan their tails up and down. According to one website I read, this is to scare flies into flight so that the bird can catch it.

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Here’s mum sitting on her brood. If you look carefully, you can see beaks poking out from under her.

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I went back to with my dad later because he has a new camera and want to test it out on… everything. Me up on a ladder turned out to be one of them. But I got him back!

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Their wing feathers are already growing. It won’t be long before they leave the nest.

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He shot the following photo of one of the chick doing a head loll. Note that it has nice blurring effects in the background that I can’t get with my camera.

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He also captured a moment when mummy bird was stuffing something down a baby’s throat, but I forgot to copy it over.

Next: Another bird visited while we were there. It’s related to this one, but both are not what we originally thought they were!

1 Comment

  1. The sharp in the front and fuzzy in the back is a thing that comes with aperture, I think. You probably know better than I do anyway. But… good news that also cheaper camera’s have this function now. Even my own Fuji Finepix S5500.
    Maybe you can beg your work for a better cam? You never know, it might work!

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