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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Spotted Pardalote

Spotted Pardalote (Image ID 46754)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Thu 17th Jun, 2021 and uploaded on Mon 21st Jun, 2021 .
Resolution1800x913
Viewed74
ID46754
CommentLong-lived Eucalypt, shorter living Pardalote. This tree, with its 75 plus rings, lived for at least three-quarters of a century before we cut it down. A Pardalote might live for around 3 to 6 years. Of course, the species to which each belongs are a little older. Eucalypts emerged over 53 million years ago when Australia was still joined to Antarctica in the mega-continent of Gondwana. Pardalotes and other song birds emerged several million years ago in Australia and have now been shown to be the origin of songbirds around the world. Of course, our own human species, Homo sapiens, was a late-comer on the scene, dating from some 200,000 years ago. Our role in changing or destroying the habitats for all other species is more recent still, dating from the last thousand years, and accelerating after the advent of the industrial revolution and globalization during the last four centuries. For a number of ecological reasons, Pardalote populations are declining but not as yet endangered, except for the Forty-Spotted Pardalote, now extremely rare and found only in a few spots of Tasmania and offshore islands. As zoologist, John Woinarski (https://phys.org/news/2020-11-pardalotes-unique-birds-country.html) noted recently, “Around 10% of [Pardalotes’] habitat was burned in the severe wildfires of 2019–20, with those fires most likely killing the birds directly, and leaving burned habitat unsuitable for their re-establishment for at least several years. In many parts of their range, the manner in which we have degraded and fragmented their forest and woodland habitat has benefitted a small suite of aggressive honeyeaters—the native noisy miner and bell miner—and these miners can kill pardalotes and exclude them from otherwise suitable habitat. Purposefully, incompetently or haphazardly, we have rearranged the ecology of this land to suit our needs, and in doing so have rubbed away much that was integral to the existence of many other species”. Woinarski notes that we still have a chance to save the Forty-Spotted Pardalote but “that opportunity may soon be lost, and observed: “their intermittent call can still lure me away into lives that are not my own, into different ways of knowing our country and its workings, of the damage we've done and the healing we have yet to do”. A tiny female Spotted Pardalote foraging for insects on top of some of the damage we’ve done, and a reminder, as Woinarski notes, of the “healing we have yet to do”.
EquipmentNikon Z7ii, Nikon 300mm PF f4, TC1.7, focal length 500mm
ISO 1600
1/500th f6.7
Monopod
LocationRoyal Park Wetlands, Parkville, Victoria
Keywordsfemale, adult
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