Monday, October 10, 2005

Birds, Birds and more Birds

Three kinds of birds in one day - though not all of the feathered variety.

The first birds of the day were Collared doves, Streptopelia decaocto.
I am fond of these birds - with their smokey grey feathers and sweet cooing. They always look well groomed and clean; feathers are always smoothed down beautifully , their eyes gleam with health and they seem really peaceful. I know that white doves are seen as the symbols of peace but they don't quite have the gentle air of collared doves.

I was trying to get some decent photos without startling the birds , so one looks headless as it pecks up something to eat.
Bird number two is the Bird-of-paradise ,Strelitzia reginae.
This is a South African plant related to the banana [Musaceae family] and it looks somewhat like a crane or stork in profile and not much like bird of paradise birds, which rarely have crest feathers or long pointed beaks..
This is the front view

The third bird of the day is the 22 spot ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata

This ladybird is about half the size of the more familiar red variety so its really very small. It has dark yellow legs and antenae and the yellow of its body is startlingly bright.
This particular type of ladybird doesn't eat aphids [greenfly] but eats microscopic mildews and fungi and are thought to help plants fight disease by keeping the fungi and mildews in check.

They are quite pretty , and like the red ladybirds will exude a strange yellow or orange fluid to deter predators or rough handling.


WellyBog said...

There is a big study going on in the UK at the moment to do with ladybirds - mainly because this summer there were not enough of them... they're worried something has happened in the ecosystem.

Emily said...

Beautiful ladybugs! We call them's interesting you call them ladybirds. : )

kan said...

I love lady bugs....wonderful!