The Illawarra Mercury reporting team is bringing you a weekly series of behind-the-scenes insights, exclusive to our subscribers. This week environment reporter Ben Langford is appealing for help to identify a local bird.
Hi Mercury subscribers - particularly those of you with some knowledge of local birds.
Perhaps you could identify a bird which has been driving me nuts of late.
It starts about 5am, well before the other birds - most of which have some manners, perhaps even a little dignity (brush turkeys and white cockatoos, I don't include you).
This one - working title is the shrill-throated idiotbird - has neither dignity nor decorum.
Its call begins innocently enough (apart from the hour) as an exploration, a question.
Are you there?
Then repeats. And repeats, escalating slightly in pitch.
Upon receiving no response it escalates into an increasingly shrill panic song.
And of course it receives no response - it sounds stupid. What right-minded lady bird would go for this clown?
I've tried to help him out - "hey she's just not that into you" ... "have you thought about trying a new song?" ... "that call's really not working for you eh?" ... to no avail.
After the 5am start - which is mine too, now - it calls all day.
You can listen to an audio recording of the bird taken this week near bush in the northern suburbs of Wollongong here.
I had to edit this clip carefully because if he hears the recording by chance, and thinks he's maybe in with a shot, we'll never hear the end of it.
Dash, I think he heard it. Here we go again.
So here's hoping that by identifying the thing I might be able to learn a little more about it.
Perhaps my assumption is wrong and it's not a mating call but a mother looking for her lost chicks. Then I'll owe the shrill-throated idiotbird a sincere apology.
Let us know.
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