Here we go, Friday’s Feathers #1
The Red Wattle Bird is a large honeyeater which eats the flowers of Eucalypts and other trees and shrubs. It is a loud and aggressive bird. Widespread right across the continent, it is a common sight.
It is not named after red wattle trees or after its overall colour which is anything but red. It is named after the red “wattles” which hang down from where its ears would be, if birds had ears.
And thereby hangs a tale.
Sweetest Daughter, aged four, decided she wanted a pet. So she picked a chook to be that pet. A “chook” is what people down there in the Northern Hemisphere call a “hen”, a supplier of eggs or of KFC meals. Anyway daughter chose to train her pet. She spent over an hour trying to get it to “sit” or to “lie down”. Eventually she lost patience and, from a height of about six inches above this poor bird’s head she screamed, “YOU STUPID CHOOK!!!” As the terrified chook flattened itself onto the ground, Sweetest Daughter innocently looked up and asked, “Mum, do chooks have ears?”
Anyhoodles, back to the Red Wattle Bird. This one was seen in Bunbury, I had set up to shoot it sitting silhouetted against the sky, but as so often happens with birds, it moved as I was pressing the shutter.