Saturday, November 6, 2010

Birds on the Daintree River

 The Daintree River is famous for its' wildlife, particularly crocodiles and a large variety of birds. The summer migrants include Black Bittern, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Metallic Starling and Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, most of which can be seen from the river.
This is also the time of year for the Papuan Frogmouth to be nesting, often high above the the water's edge, making it easy to see from the river. 'Easy' isn't really the right word - the colours and patterns of the plumage enable the bird to disguise itself beautifully as it sits quietly and perfectly still next to the trunk or branch of a tree. The nest consists of just a few sticks, but they are great parents and usually breed successfully.

The Papuan Frogmouth feeds at night, just after dusk, mostly on insects, frogs and lizards.
Only found in southern Asia, New Guinea and Australia, Australia's Frogmouths are a real treat for international birdwatchers - there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world. The Papuan Frogmouth has a very small Australian range of distribution.