Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The Striated Pardalote - greatly underrated and often elusive mini-champ of the Australian bush. Not usually a difficult species to track down; but given its preference for high foliar foraging, it can prove to be a hard bird to get 'eye to eye' with. I was lucky enough to have a close encounter with this species at Monarto Zoological Park on the eastern slopes of the Mount Lofty Range outside of Adelaide, SA. The many fine examples of low-slung Mallee that dominate the canopy of this site allow great opportunities to get close to this supercharged little bird. I was lucky enough to capture some of the many twists and turns these birds execute as they frenetically scoot through the upper reaches of trees in search of their meal of choice - Lerps.

 Lerps, the sugary coating that serves as protection for psyllid insect larvae, serve as the perfect high-octane fuel to power the 'never still' Pardalote family. Given the right habitat, you'll often hear the tell-tale 'flicking' sound of a tiny, purpose-built bill as it pecks methodically to liberate many a Lerp from its leaf. If you take the time to follow the sound, you may be treated to an amazing display from one of nature's tiny gymnasts. Captivating stuff!