Neil is an author, scientist, and ornithologist based in Canberra. Each week, he rounds up some of the most recent news, stories, and insights on all things birds through this weekly bird wrap. This week, Neil talks about:
– The possible spread of the Bird Flu disease
– The Plains-Wanderer
Why Bird Flu Outbreaks Are To Be Expected Expected This Winter
Bird Flu is pretty much a type of influenza that infects birds. However, if carried in large wild animal populations, the disease can be crossed over to humans as well. What’s alarming about bird flu is the fact that as the virus changes or mutates further, the more contagious it is to others. In a past outbreak in the Northern Hemisphere, the flu spread like wildfire to chickens and other birds in poultry farms because of their close proximity to each other.
Although Australia is relatively immune to bird flu due to the waterfowl birds and their migration path, people from other parts of the world such as Asia, Europe, and Eurasia should take the right precautions to avoid outbreaks.
Why The Crane Bird Is Considered A Cultural Icon
There’s something special about crane birds. In some cultures, they are considered somewhat mythological – a symbol of good luck and prosperity, especially in Asia. And it’s not hard to see why – with their long necks and beautiful feathers, these large birds are definitely something special to behold. They can often be seen in flocks, either flying or standing in wetlands or fields.
In Australia, there are two native species of cranes, the Brolga and the rarer Sarus Crane. Both are distinct, majestic, and interesting birds with distinctive red crowns and facial wattles. Its graceful beauty has made it a symbol of love and beauty in indigenous Australian cultures.
Following The Trail Of The Plains-Wanderer
The Plains-wanderer is a small, beautiful bird with quail-like features, often found in remote parts of inland Australia. Just recently, Neil and a few other birdwatchers travelled to the islands of NSW, in search of the Plains-wanderer. The bird is challenging to spot. Even Neil hasn’t seen one yet despite decades of birdwatching experience.
Fortunately, the team did not come home from their trip empty handed. Neil and the group managed to spot two male and two female Plains-wanderers in the wild, and the photographs they took of these rare birds can be found in the video above.
Australia is indeed a bird paradise. Visit our website to book a slot for our upcoming birdwatching walks and safaris around Canberra to different parts of Australia, as well as other stunning locations off the beaten path.
The Best Birdwatching Tours and Safaris in Australia | Neil Hermes: Author, Ornithologist, and Tour Guide
A scientist by background, and a keen author, researcher, tour guide, and ornithologist, Neil traveled to Australia and other parts of the world for decades. His expeditions are fuelled by his unwavering passion for birds, publishing his findings, planning birdwatching safaris, and participating in bird conservation efforts along the way. His passion for both birds and tourism gave him the much needed push to start Neil Hermes Safaris, touring aspiring birdwatchers and enthusiasts around Canberra, and all over Australia.