Tag Archives: Yellow Oriole

Litoria junggay?

Since Snail has been writing about Litoria junggay I decided we should join in the discussion by adding a couple of photos of the frogs we used to know as Litoria lesueuri  or Stony-Creek Frogs. As Snail has mentioned, this species is now described as L. jungguy and  L. wilcoxii and according to my “Rainforest Frogs of the Wet Tropics” by Conrad Hoskin and Jean-Marc Hero this distinction is based on genetic data as the two species are morphologically very similar and cannot be reliably distinguished in the field.   As we are in the Northern part of the range we should be seeing Litoria junggay so I’m staying with that.  These males are pictured sitting on the edge of our fresh-water swimming pool – I thought the bricks gave a good indication of their size.

wild_wings_swampy_things_Litoria-jungguy-males

Inspired by Snail’s discussion I went out with a torch a couple of nights ago to see if I could find any female Stony-Creek frogs – we always have males sitting around the pool edge but the females are not as commonly seen.  And I found one – the male had also found her and he wasn’t letting go even when she frog-leaped quite a distance into the garden.  As you can see there is quite a difference in both the size and colour of the male and female of the species.

wild_wings_swampy_things_Litoria-jungguy

These frogs have one of the softest sounding calls of any of our frogs – more like a loud purr.  They are commonly associated with rocky and sandy streams, the males often being found near water where as the females can be located some distance away.  We are amused by the fact that they are attracted to our pool and breed in it quite successfully although they are described as ‘stream breeders’;  we have water moving through an undergravel filter system and spraying over the surface of the pool for about 6 hours a day plus a small fountain which runs directly from a solar panel and is therefore dependent on the sunlight but this seems to be sufficient to keep quite a few different frog species happy as well as maintaining a lovely cooling off place for us.

The photo below (taken in Feb last year)  is of another female showing how well she is able to blend into her surroundings

wild_wings_swampy_things_litoria-junggay-female_camouflaged

and this one was attempting to gain entry to our house in December last year.   I have included the photo as it shows the colour variations between females as well as her inner thigh markings.

wild_wings_swampy_things_Litoria junggay female

And just to finish off, when I was walking back to the house from the pool the other night I noticed a fluffy ball on the leaf of a Ginger plant – it wasn’t at all disturbed by the flash from the camera as its head was tucked so far out of sight and I was careful not to brush against the leaf as I walked past.

wild_wings_swampy_things_yellow oriole sleepingClick on photos to enlarge. 

Busy Breeding

Yellow Figbird Steady, soaking delicious rain is refreshing the earth, the plants and all the creatures including us.  There may be some negative aspects to living in the tropics but I wasn’t enjoying the dry crackly feeling of the last few months and I am delighted to feel the earth soft again under my tread.

The house garden is full of activity and there are several nests we have been observing closely.  Two Figbird pairs have constructed their flimsy stick nests in a Calophyllum inophyllum and a Yellow Oriole pair has built a more substantial nest in a neighbouring Syzygium angophoroides.  Not far away a Black Butcherbird pair has built a nest on a tree branch which is beautifully sheltered by a palm frond.

The Orioles have been very busy feeding a couple of youngsters as have the Black Butcherbirds.

Yellow Oriel on nest

As the adult Oriole flew off the nest this morning I looked up and was surprised to see one of the babies was sitting on the edge of the nest while the other fledgling was already flapping and jumping through the little branches of their nesting tree.  The parent bird returned to watch over them and to chase off firstly a Helmeted Friarbird and then another Oriole.

Then I watched while an adult Butcherbird smashed up a beetle on a dead tree stump and fed it’s babies.  We are wondering how long it will be before  the newly fledged Orioles become food for the Butcherbird’s hungry youngsters.

As we have a huge population of Yellow Orioles on the property we are somewhat philosophical about this possibility – it is all about keeping a balance.

Oriole fledgling on nest

 

Yellow Oriole fledgling