Sunday, March 4, 2018

White-ear shows up but white ears don't show out

Why doesn't this White-eared Monarch have white ears? Nope, not because birds don't have visible ears (mostly). Juveniles of the species don't acquire the white facial patches until they lose juvenile and immature plumages.

Bird flew in to Townsville Common today more or less out of the blue (blue sky marking fourth day without rain; species unseen for months). Several honeyeaters chasing floral nectar ignored newcomer, which concentrated on digging meatier prey from foliage and branch bark.

And while juvenile behaved a bit differently from an adult in not spending almost all its time fluttering around top and outside of foliage its black and white wing colouring told of change from juvenile to immature status.

Another uncommon visitor recently, juvenile/immature Square-tailed Kite. Adult birds have broad black tail bar, barely hinted at above. Given the species' huge territorial range the young kite may have flown in from hundreds of kilometres away.

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