My visits over recent days to this drying waterhole in the Mia Mia have featured regular appearances from at least two separate flocks of White-winged Choughs. These charming and engaging ‘bush comics’ never cease to delight as they go about their business. All flocks comprise adult and juvenile birds and they employ a sophisticated system of surveillance as they feed, roost, preen and dust-bathe in their territories. They also engage in spectacular displays involving dramatic arching and waving of their wings, which combined with head bobbing while simultaneously engorging their eyes with blood, makes for ‘essential viewing’. The purpose of these displays varies with the circumstances – it can be associated with predator alarm, territorial defence, greetings between group members, appeasement, group bonding or to even entice a fledgling away from a neighbouring group with the intention of ‘kidnapping’.
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