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Photos by Frits and Paula
Frits and Paula spent a memorable day at a bird sanctuary and these are some of the pictures they took.
In many parts of Australia there are special sanctuaries where birds have learned that friendliness to visitors pays off. Feed is distributed around the visitor area, or, sometimes, visitors can buy a quantity of feed to give out as they please. Food from outside the sanctuary isn’t allowed, because the birds’ diet has to be as close as possible to naturally obtained foods.
Visitors never fail to be charmed and delighted as birds—usually parrots—approach fearlessly and even perch on their shoulders, heads or hands.
Young crimson rosellas, like the one seen here, look rather patchy; the colours aren't particularly vivid and are distributed in blotches rather than in the definite areas that older birds display.
As these young birds tend to feed in large flocks, and often on the ground, perhaps the dull covering serves them as a protective camouflage. High-flying hawks and eagles could hardly miss the brilliant colouring of mature birds.
This is an older bird whose colours are more defined.
People find it hard to believe that the juvenile crimson is a crimson; the colouring seems to relate better to a parrot with more green, such as the eastern. The juvenile crimson, though, has the blue cheeks of its parents; eastern rosellas are white cheeked.
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