Saturday, September 22, 2012

More notes on unidentified olive backed and aqua blue winged bird

In a previous post I wrote a brief description of this aqua blue winged bird that I am trying to identify. The bird in question has not been sighted since by me.

There are a few other things about this bird that I remember that differentiates them from Blue-faced Honeyeaters. Firstly, Blue-faced Honeyeaters are quite noisy yet the birds I saw in the past and the individual I saw most recently made no noise (that I remember) at all.

Secondly, the ones I saw years ago were hanging around Australian King Parrots, feeding with them. I saw these aqua blue winged birds close up at Jubilee Park. The King Parrots, at the time, were not afraid of humans as lot as they were not startled by them. These other birds were the same, were unafraid of humans too. You could easily get within 7 - 8 feet of these birds, even if you were just walking passed them and they were on the ground. They just seemed fearless of humans. I did not see any blue markings on these birds' faces, which tells me it was not a Blue-faced Honeyeater. It was also a different shape to the Blue-faced Honeyeater, and had a much shorter tail.

Thirdly, they ate seeds. What else they ate I do not know. And I only ever saw them, years ago, at Jubilee Park either in the presence of Australian King Parrots or with a few of their own kind hanging around the play equipment. Back then I did not see them anywhere else in Tenterfield, except for flying into the trees or onto the playgrounds' equipment railings when they finished eating the seeds on the ground.

These birds rarely squabbled with one another, unlike the King Parrots. They seem well organized and very co-operative birds. They never hassled the King Parrots at all but sometimes the King Parrots hassled them if they got in the way of them hassling other King Parrots of their own flock - if they were both on the ground eating the same type of seeds.

Actually, the bottom half of their bodies were pure white (not cream) coloured. In flight, they are basically a white bird with aqua blue coloured wings. Their olive coloured back is noticeable too but only on certain angles to seeing the bird fly off. The olive colouring backs were very noticeable when they were on the ground.

After much thought about the weather conditions of Tenterfield some 11 or so years ago, I have concluded that these aqua blue winged birds prefered wetter rainfall conditions than droughts. In Tenterfield, back in 1996-2001, the annual rainfall was about 600mm per year. This is when the birds were sighted, roughly. Prior to October 1995 I don't know if the birds were in Tenterfield as I was living in South Australia up until that time. When they actually disappeared from Tenterfield altogether I simply cannot remember but it was roughly between 2001 - 2005. 2001 was when the rainfall began to decline in Tenterfield, and each passing year brought less rain than the previous year.

I have been extensively searching the Internet for a visual identification of this bird but I have had no luck so far. However, I have found one image that may be useful, see below:

The bird on the left is a Blue and Yellow Macaw. Its not the bird I saw but it actually has the same aqua blue wing colourings as the birds I saw. This particular blue colour in this photo is the colour I saw on the birds' wings. It is an usual blue colour, and the sort of blue colour you do not forget in a hurry. There are very few Australian birds that actually have this particular blue colouring on their body.

The birds I saw had, if my memory serves me correctly, entirely blue wings just like this Macaw does in this image. And where this Macaw has a yellow belly, breast, and blue throat and chin, with the birds I saw all those areas were pure white.

Now, what is even harder to locate than a blue and white bird is a bird that also has a solid olive coloured back and mantle. Nothing I have found on the Internet thus far has matched the bird I am trying to identify.

However, as I can assume the bird in question is a tropical bird, I may be trying to locate a bird that may not even be native to Australia. If bird colourings has anything to do with which country they originate from I may be looking at a bird that may have come from Central and South America or the dense forests of Asia somewhere.

The birds length was about 26 - 28cms and it had a short tail and to look at them they were about 3/4 the size of a King Parrot.

Thinking back about seeing these birds I always remember seeing these aqua blue winged birds at the playground area in Jubilee Park, on Manners Street. They always seemed to be there for as long as I can remember - and that covers at least 4 years straight. Not once were they not there. They were always there like how trees can't get up and walk away. They did actually make a noise but can't recollect what sound they made now.

The only thing I regret is never having taken a photo of these birds since I've been in Tenterfield as it is the only thing preventing me from identifying this bird species.

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