Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Black Falcon takes Cockatiel while Magpie-lark looks on at Papunya

Earlier this week I was watching the activities at the Papunya Water Treatment Plant, or Poo Ponds if you prefer. Over the past few visits I have watched a Black Falcon hunting. Until this occasion I hadn't seen it be successful.

The first manoeuvre was the usual swoop in low and fast, scattering the Zebra Finches every which way, thanks largely to the alarm call by either the Magpie-larks or the Singing Honeyeaters nearby. The next style was to soar to a great height then zoom down almost vertically, not quite the sound of a Peregrine Falcon coming down from a cliff but not too far off it. This time the alarm call was a bit later, but the Black Falcon still came up empty.

As I was watching the Black Falcon move off to its perch just out of sight, a group of 7 Cockatiels screeched their presence. They did their normal scouting trip or 20 over the water. I suppose they have good reason to be flighty, but, like I often think with the Budgies, if they just came straight in, had a drink and left, surely the birds of prey wouldn't have a chance to get set up for an attack, but I suppose this has been happening for a lot longer than I've been bird-watching.

The group of 7 finally settled and came down for a drink, then flew off squawking. Three more appeared and also did their normal fly-bys. On the other side of the Ponds, some Zebra Finches were on the Ponds edge, flitting to and from perimeter the fence. One of the Cockatiels flew down beside them and started to drink. The Black Falcon made its move. A quick swoop and the Cockatiel panicked, flopping down into the ponds a couple of meters from the edge. Its wings now wet, it was no longer a Cockatiel but a sitting duck. The Black Falcon wheeled above the perimeter fence and flew back to pick up the hapless Cockatiel. The Magpie-lark nearby flew up squawking, then shadowed the Falcon for as long as it could. As the Falcon flew higher, it de-feathered the prey, and then flew off presumably to sit and enjoy its meal.


  1. An amazing set of photos. It was interesting to see just how closely the Magpie-lark shadowed the falcon. I wonder what its motive was for being that close to the action?