Soon after my visit to Southern states in December 2017 I wrote about “honeyeaters and their next-nearest kin, mainly because I have … seen species which don’t live around Townsville” and I’m doing it again now.
Wattlebirds are the Southern equivalent of our Friarbirds: big, noisy, gregarious (and often aggressive) honeyeaters. The Red and Yellow are the largest of five species at 38-48 and 31-39cm respectively; the Yellow (Anthocaera paradoxa) is restricted to Tasmania but the Red (A. carunculata) occupies a broad coastal arc from Shark Bay in the West to Brisbane.
My holidays took me to Melbourne and Hobart in the last few weeks and on Good Friday I enjoyed a ramble around the Melbourne Zoo, a place I first visited as a rather small child. It has changed for the better in many ways since then but the layout is still a labyrinth which rewards aimless wandering but can frustrate the targeted search for a particular exhibit. Never mind – we enjoyed all we did see and ran out of time before we ran out of things we wanted to see. The selection of photos above is almost as haphazard as our route: out of the creatures we saw, these let me get reasonable portraits without waiting too long. As usual, clicking on the thumbnail will take you to a bigger image.
The biggest improvement during my lifetime must be in the conditions the animals are kept in, but it is good to see the emphasis on conservation: