Colourful names for birds

Keith Ireland photographed this Red-necked Avocet over the water at the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.

I often find that birds’ names can be particularly interesting.

The names that associate a colour to a part of a bird’s anatomy makes it easier to recognise them. In to-day’s column, I have selected some of these which are in our region, that illustrate this comment.

One bird that is very common in Rockhampton and surrounding areas is the Blue- faced Honeyeater. Anyone who has flowering plants loaded with nectar will have numbers of these in their trees.

The blue patch on the face around the eyes definitely shows which bird they are.

Out of all the different types of Fairy Wrens, the male Red-backed is the only member of this family that has the red. The other males generally are blue or brown while the females all are brown except for a few that have a pretty blue tail.

Another visitor to our Botanical Gardens, which I have been able to photograph there is the Red-necked Avocet ( pictured). A group of these will descend on the water for a few days before moving on. Not only is the neck a reddish-brown colour but so is its head as well. Another unique feature of it, is its bill which curls upwards.

The Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike is particularly well known to people who grow lovely vegetables and fruit because this bird seems to arrive just when these are ready to harvest.

To a quick glance, it looks grey on the upper feathers and white underneath. However as well as the black on the front of the head which carries on down to the neck, it also has black on the end of its wings and tail.

Finally the only Robin that has red on the top of its head, is the male Red-capped Robin.