It seems only yesterday that I taught a parrot to swear - with repercussions for both me and my schoolfriends and the sulphur-crested cockatoo itself. The parrot story is one I often tell and now I have another: the tale of the potty-mouthed pollies, as they are being called across the twittersphere. A bird sanctuary in Britian is wrestling with the dilemma of a donation of five African grey parrots from an owner who can no longer look after them. Delight at receiving the … [Read more...] about I swear, these parrots are a smart bunch
On The Wing
Passport to birdland
Birdland is a magical place where it’s possible to escape all the pressures and stresses of the environment of the city created and inhabited by one species – humans – and immerse yourself in a less one-dimensional world. Birdland is nowhere in particular, and does not have to be special or noteworthy. It could be in the wildest of wild forest, or in suburbia. It could be a pristine beach, a few hectares of eucalypt woodland, or a neatly manicured city park. It could be a backyard. That’s the magic of birds; they bring beauty and wonder to every corner of the planet, wild or untamed, and my On the Wing writing is their celebration.
All’s well with the world. The tawny frogmouths have returned to their favourite perch after vanishing at the start of spring. Although I was disappointed at first to discover they had flown away, I knew they would be back. That’s the way with tawny frogmouths, they are birds of routine. Predictable, solid, loyal to both partner and their environment, never straying far from home. Why I should find that reassuring I don’t know. Maybe it’s this increasingly troubled world in … [Read more...] about A cryptic bird for all seasons
Bill McDermott – the last in a long line of Tasmanian pioneers – was very much in my thoughts as I trod the rounded, flat paving stones leading into what was once his farmyard. A scarlet robin watched my progress and in the scattered blue gums a yellow-throated honeyeater called. On a sunny day the scene was very much as it would have been during days gone by before the McDermott association with this magical place in the foothills of kunanyi/Mt Wellington was to end in … [Read more...] about An echo from a pioneer past
Peter Marmion is a man on a mission to reveal the hidden wonders of Port Davey in Tasmania’s far south-west. This magical waterworld is not so much hidden, but overlooked and forgotten when it comes to the state’s tourist hotspots. I must confess I once viewed the area as merely the home of one of the world’s rarest birds, the orange-bellied parrot. That was until I was given the opportunity one summer to join a voyage to the region on a vessel operated by On Board … [Read more...] about Light shone on a secret wilderness
Once a month, a dedicated band of nature lovers armed with secateurs and rakes heads into the bush. They are among a growing band of Bushcare volunteers determined to “make a difference” when it comes to protecting and conserving Hobart’s fragile environment. As Hobart City Council marked the 30th year of its Bushcare program recently, the founding members came together to celebrate what had been achieved over the years. The movement has roots in the decision by a group of … [Read more...] about Still making a difference, 30 years on