The Long-billed Black-cockatoo is also known as Baudin’s Cockatoo. In its natural habitat it is confined to the south western corner of Western Australia. I have seen this species on only a handful of occasions on my last visit to that state. Sadly, this was in 1978, so we are well overdue for a return visit to the beautiful state of Western Australia.
The next best thing is to view these beautiful birds in a zoo – surely a very poor second, but still good. On our visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney last year we eagerly watched the Free Flight Bird Show, a twice daily introduction by the keepers to the birds of Australia. These cockatoos were on display after the show so that visitors could get a good, close up view of them. It also provided me with an excellent photo opportunity.
The Barking Owl is one of Australia’s owls and can be found in many parts of Australia from northern Australia, Queensland, through NSW and southern Victoria and parts of South Australia and Western Australia. Its preferred habitats include woodlands and forests.
The bird I’ve featured on this post is a captive one at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. It is featured in their very popular Free Flight Bird Show. This show, a major draw-card at the zoo twice daily at noon and 3pm, it always a highlight when we visit. It is also a great opportunity to take photos of birds close up.
Whenever we visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney we always make a point of watching the Free Flight Bird Show. This show is on every day at 12 noon and 3pm and it always draws a large crowd, so my advice is to get there 10-15 minutes before the show commences to ensure a seat in the amphitheatre. The seats have a panoramic view of Sydney Harbour, so the wait is never boring.
On our last visit earlier last year I was able to get this close up shot of a Black Kite, one of the birds featured in the show. This is a relatively common species in many places in Australia including my home town of Murray Bridge in South Australia, yet I’ve not been able to get a good close up photo previously.
One of the “must see” exhibits when visiting Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is the Free Flight Bird Show. This show is a part of your zoo entrance fee, meaning that once you are in the zoo property there is no extra cost to see the show.
The show, which runs for about a half hour, is held at 12 noon and 3pm daily, but my advice is to arrive early to get a seat in the amphitheatre overlooking the harbour. The seats fill quickly for each show.
During the presentation the zoo keepers give many details about Australian birds and their habits and this is accompanied by antics performed by free flying birds from the zoo collection. It is highly entertaining while being very educational.
I will be featuring several of the birds shown over the coming days. Today’s bird is the Brolga, one of our larger birds. The Brolga is found in large numbers in northern Australia but is becoming scarcer in the south eastern part of the country.
Its preferred habitats are varied, and include wetlands, swamps, irrigated pastures, grasslands, cereal crops and sometimes open forest areas. It is a large bird with a height of between 70 and 130cm and with a wing span of 1.7 – 2.4 metres.
Anyone visiting Taronga Zoo in Sydney will not only enjoy the animals and birds of the zoo, but also to excellent views of Sydney, the harbour and the bridge. The photos on this post were all taken while waiting for the Free Flight Bird Show to start. This show is an excellent presentation about some of the birds of Australia, all done against the backdrop of the harbour and the city.
The Free Flight Bird Show runs twice daily at 12 noon and 3pm and is free with your entry to the zoo. The amphitheatre holds several hundred people but we always arrive early as seats fill quickly. There are opportunities to get up close with some of the birds after the show.
For more information about the bird show click here. In coming days I will be showing more photos of the latest bird show we witnessed.
Meanwhile – more photos of the harbour and city.