Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Bird and the Spider.

No particular theme today, but two animals that caught my fancy.

The first is a black house spider, Badumna insignis. It's a common sight in Australian gardens and houses. While not too dangerous, it is poisonous and can badly affect sensitive folk. I'm trying to improve my skills in photographing arthropods, but it isn't easy! Focus, lighting....

Badumna insignis

The second species is becoming a frequent visitor to Sydney gardens, particularly since baiting of foxes (one of Australia's many mammal weeds!) is starting to take effect. While brush turkeys (Alectura lathami) are well known for foraging in mulch, building mounds in inconvenient spots and generally causing general garden chaos, few realise that at night they roost in trees. That our garden is a popular place for them to roost is evidenced by the chunky piles of brush turkey poo we regularly find on our car.

Roosting brush turkey

I just took this shot, at dusk. It's remarkable that such a large bird (weighing around just under 2 kg) can roost so happily on what are really quite narrow branches.

Here's one I prepared earlier:


Erica said...

The brush turkey is really spreading recently. I saw a lot of them during the last months and it was in the news already. The picture of the spider is really good also I'm afraid of these animals. Have a lovely Christmas!

PS: I found a website which might interest you. It s and has some amazing pictures and videos!

Kristy Wheeldon said...

As a volunteer wildlife carer, one of the first "rescues" my hubby and I did was a brush turkey (in Newcastle, NSW).

With a damaged wing and leg, it still took us a full hour (with the help of the caller and her three kids) to eventually corner this poor creature in a chicken coop it went to for refuge. It took almost that long again to decide who would go in after it! Never seen anything so ferocious, and 2 years later, still have never met anything with quite as much bite!!

Recovered well and released now much to everyones relief! Wouldn't be rid of this strange birds though, quite endearing when you get to know them :) Nice to see them appreciated on this blog!

Margaret said...

Hi Kristy,

I get so cross with people who object to brush turkeys on their land. If you've the kind of garden that can't cope with a bit of digging and the odd huge mound, you have the wrong sort of garden. ;)