They are what they eat

The Shoveler's larger bill is used in a similar way to a shovel.

Birds in our World with Keith Ireland

Birds have often received their names for a number of different reasons.

Some birds have been called a name that refers to the type of food that they eat.

What their main food item could be, is easily seen by the name. There is no need to state what the beautifully coloured Rainbow Bee-Eater has as a favourite part of the diet. Two other birds which also illustrate this feature are the Flycatcher and the Honeyeater while the lovely little Mistletoe Bird feeds on the mistletoe berries and then its droppings help to spread the plant to new locations.

Even though they are different in construction, all the Bowerbirds build bowers so that name fits as well.

A few birds have names relating to a sound they make. This includes the Catbird with its cat type call and the Whipbird whose crack of the whip sound at the end of a call is easily identified.

The Bellbird with its lovely ringing call which it repeats over and over, certainly lives up to its name.

Physical aspects of the bird have resulted in appropriate names. Some of these are the Frogmouth, Spoonbill and Fantail.

Also in our area is a shy species which keeps well out of the way, and is not often seen because it stays mostly in the thicker patches of the reeds in the water. This bird is called the Shoveler ( pictured). Its larger bill is used in a similar way to a shovel and it is able to use its bill to strain the water to get any small creatures found there.