Bush characters: Apostlebirds

By AG STAFF 13 November 2015
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Apostlebirds are social, noisy and a bit scruffy – real characters of the bush.

PHOTOGRAPHER CHRIS BURNS takes at least two cameras and additional lenses just about everywhere he goes, allowing him to capture this week’s reader photo on the Alice River, Queensland.

“These were two of about 20 apostlebirds that landed in a tree within 5m from where I was sitting under a ghost gum on the Alice River, outside Barcaldine, Queensland. They were unbelievably noisy! Not the most attractive bird, but they are real characters of the bush, very social amongst themselves even if they always look scruffy and grubby,” said Chris.

“They went about their business as if I wasn’t there, which enabled me to photograph at close range this pair grooming each other. It was very dry at the time I took the photo. I had not seen the Alice River at the Lloyd Jones Weir as low before. The reason I was sitting under the ghost gum was to photograph the bird life at a water hole which was the only water for miles. All creatures great and small were coming into to drink and lie in the shade,” he said.

Chris commenced photography as a serious amateur in his early twenties with a makeshift darkroom set up in his bathroom. Following a long break from photography, he is now picking up where he left off with digital photography.

“I take at least two cameras and additional lenses just about everywhere I go. My partner is very patient and slows down or stops the car for a snap, or gives up the window seat on the aircraft when we fly. I enjoy trying to shoot photographs in all genres, but particularly wildlife, mainly birds and nature landscapes. I am very keen to see our Australian creatures and their habitats conserved. Photography is a great way to learn about the creatures and experience their habitats, and is a great aid to alert people to the beauty and state of our local environment.”

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