Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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[Mystery birds] Budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus, photographed in Boulia Shire, far west Queensland, Australia [I will identify these birds for you in 48 hours]

Image: Ann Britton [larger view].

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

News story:

This year’s floods along river systems such as the Diamantina and Georgina sparked prolific breeding by the budgies which have been feasting on an abundance of grass seeds.

“I have been here since 1983 and never seen anything like it,” Boulia grazier Ann Britton said. “The skies are thick with budgies — how they do not collide with each other is a miracle in itself.”

Review all mystery birds to date.


  1. #1 David
    October 31, 2009

    easy one here, budgies!… long-tailed predominantly green and yellow bird (as opposed to the many captive-bred colors) with black scalloped markings on the wings and shoulders

    Flooding along the Diamantina and Georgina rivers has incraesed grasses, the seeds of which have allowed budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) to proloiferate

    “What next? Now it’s budgie storms in Queensland flood areas”, Courier Mail (Australia), October 27, 2009

  2. #2 Bob O'H
    October 31, 2009

    No, they’re unripe bananas. It’s a little known fact that just before they’re ripe, their wings fall off. They’re then caught by Queenslanders who bend them into the right shape before export.

    That something so improbably perfect could exist is used by philosophers as the definitive proof of the existence of Ray Comfort.

  3. #3 David
    October 31, 2009

    hmmm, a touch of Pharyngulitis there Bob?

    It is true though that there is a genetic link between Giardia psittaci, a common parasite of budgerigars, and 50-page introductions to host organisms such as the Origin (musaceae endocarp being a likely vector) with a similarity between the signs of retarded growth, dehydration, and diarrhoea in budgie chicks and the result of getting past ther first page of Comfort’s creationist twaddle…

  4. #4 Bill
    October 31, 2009

    It’s a flock wild of budgies with that flashing of green and yellow. You should of done something harder like a flock of ‘tiels or galahs.

  5. #5 Monado, FCD
    October 31, 2009

    Wild budgies, camouflaged for yellow & green vegetation.

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