What am I???

I am usually solitary but can be found in pairs or, as a family group just after breeding. I love to eat flying beetles, moths, cicadas and bugs which I catch and eat as I fly. Sometimes however, I will carry them back to my very high perch where I beat them to soften them before swallowing. My toes are partly fused for grasping as I sit quite motionless on my high perch looking for prey.

After arriving mid October, I breed between then and January. I lay three to five glossy, translucent white, oval shaped eggs at the bottom of a shallow, wood dust lined cavity in a very tall tree on the edge of the forest or near a clearing. We both share the parenting role in incubating and feeding our young prior to returning to New Guinea from late February to March.

We are noisy, chattering harshly during summer and are only about 260-300mm long. We have been referred to as “the funny little bird God made after he finished making the rest” by a lovely lady wildlife carer. Males and females look similar with a mixture of grey, brown, green, blue, black, cobalt and turquoise and, a distinct white marking on our outstretched wing which gives us our name. What am I???

Answer: Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

Photo: One of the many dollarbirds in care this season.
Dollar Bird
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