Sunday, November 01, 2009

Unknown Bird Perched High Up On A Dead Tree

Just another 5 minutes and I would be home, when I spotted a bird sitting high up on a dead standing tree. Hmmm... I said to myself. Haven't seen this bird before and a rushed home and up to my home office to grab the binoculars.The image I saw confirmed that is was a bird that I haven't seen before. Grabbed the camera out of the dry box and rushed out with camera and tripod. I knew by it broad bill that it was a dollarbird but I didn't what type.The bird dove off the tree several times and appeared to be catching insects on the fly. Interesting, at one point it came barrelling towards me but the lens just would catch sharp enough photos of the diving bird.I posted this photo on Flickr and a contact helped me identify the bird as the Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus Orientalis). These birds are so named because of the distinctive white coin-shaped spots on their under wings.
They grow to 30cm, and can be found in East Asia, from northern Australia to the Japan archipelago. These birds are insectivores, and love beetles. They often catch their prey on the wing. The mature birds have orange beaks while young birds have a darker beak.
They are often seen as a single bird with a distinctive upright silhouette on a bare branch high in a tree, from which it hawks for insects.

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