Southern Emu-wren!

I was in the bush with a friend when I said, “I’d like a Southern Emu-wren to land, right here, in a patch of sunlight.” Considering it’s a place we visit regularly and we’d never seen or heard an emu-wren, it was a long-shot and my friend laughed and replied that I didn’t ask for much. Imagine our amazement when moments later this beautiful bird appeared.


Southern Emu-wren - Kim WormaldSouthern Emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus) – male
1/500, f/5.6, ISO 1600


Southern Emu-wrens are secretive little birds that forage for insects and spiders in thick understorey; they rarely peek out to look at the wider world. I thought for a breath-holding moment that it was going to perch on a mossy log beside me but it stayed hidden until popping up a good deal further away – and I’m not complaining!

Their tails are remarkable, with six incredibly long, fine filamentous feathers that look similar to emu feathers. They are about 18cm long with 10cm of that being the length of the tail, and they weigh a miniscule 8g. Male birds have blue feathers around their eyes and on their throats, I especially like the rufous colour on his head and those lovely warm coloured underparts. I adore wrens … they are so delicate and yet can cope with extremes of temperatures from below freezing to over 40 degrees Celsius.

I often put a call out to birds and animals I’d like to see, and it’s remarkable how often they turn up – do try it, if you haven’t already.

I added six new banner images this week, they are selected randomly whenever lirralirra is opened or refreshed. I kept one of the previous set, I couldn’t bear to delete the hoodies.

Happy birding, Kim


Update on the Victorian duck shooting season

This week saw the start of a fabulous Animals Australia campaign featuring anti duck shooting ads on the back of buses. Laurie Levy, from the Coalition Against Duck Shooting, was banned from the wetlands for 6 months for holding the boat of a game officer but thanks to Lyn White and Animals Australia his absence hasn’t meant that shooters have had a carte blanche, far from it as this evocative advertisement testifies.



For more information on the moving billboards campaign see Ducks driving change – Melbourne buses

For more information on Laurie being banned from the wetlands see Waterbirds hero is silenced

Animals Australia have made it easy to send a note to MPs to express concern about your hard-earned dollars being used to promote animal cruelty: Take Action Now


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