Prehistoric creatures

No, not dinosaurs, but a distant relative.

I’m talking about Helmeted Friarbirds (Philemon buceroides). They’re strange, gaunt-looking creatures that give the impression they’d be quite happy flying about on webbed membranes instead of feathered wings. They have large, bony skulls which are strongly reminiscent of pterodactyl heads and are very bold, at times flying up to the screen door at the back of the house and hanging from the mesh while they eye the inhabitants of the room.

There’s a pair which is currently making a point of adorning the car with white splotches while they strut across the windscreen or admire themselves in the wing mirrors. While they’re at this artistic endeavour, we’re treated to their raucous, uninhibited song. I don’t quite know why this is suddenly happening after 3 years in this house, but we appear to be greatly favoured! They’re weird, but I like them 🙂

I just wish they’d keep their, um, offerings to themselves…


23 thoughts on “Prehistoric creatures

  1. Intriguing face that looks a bit like a miniature vulture. Good for the miniature aspect, just imagine how much bigger those splotches might be…

  2. It does look a bit prehistoric. And those deposits are hard on the paint job. It must be fun to watch them though. They look so very interesting.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s all those extra bony bits. I was quite startled the first time I saw one. Very entertaining to watch them hopping about admiring themselves in the glass 🙂

  3. There’s a good chance your car is shinier than mine so as to attract such admiration. Mine is adorned with Soossie-Cat foorprints 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

    • katechiconi says:

      You may well be right! The car isn’t usually quite so shiny, but the Husband occasionally takes it to work to give it a bath in the truck-wash bay. I hadn’t thought to correlate the two events 🙂

  4. knitnkwilt says:

    You do have some interesting birds in your neck of the woods.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve always loved birds, and found myself in heaven when I got to Australia, where they are so much more exotic than the field birds back in the UK. And the tropics has the best selection of all. My Field Guide to the Birds of Australia and my binoculars are always to hand beside my chair…

  5. kathyreeves says:

    Hmmm, sounds like a budgie that we used to have…he liked to admire himself in the metal around the girls’ pencil erasers or their forks!

  6. What, you don’t want their tiny offerings!? 🤔😂

    • katechiconi says:

      The dear little love tokens will eventually eat holes in the car paintwork… Love their silly antics, love their daft squawky song, but the poo, well, no, not really!

  7. nanacathy2 says:

    I think I would prefer budgies! Sound a little scary!

  8. tialys says:

    Ew, they’re a bit scary looking. We’ve just been vulture spotting in Northern Spain – well the husband has, I just wore my ‘interested’ face – and I wouldn’t want their offerings on my car.

  9. jmcheney says:

    Good gracious sakes. How amazing. I would be fascinated too to watch & hear them — reminded me of the lucky times the smooth-billed anis would drop into our back yard mango trees in Florida – startling & wonderful. When we lived in the Carolina country, our chickens admired themselves often in our hubcaps, preening this way & that. Here is an all about friarbirds birds page with videos & sound I found on the net. Thanks for something new I learned today, Kate.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I had a look at that site too, but found the song in the link I posted was more like the birds that visit us. Your smooth-billed ani visitors are quite remarkable looking too! We have smaller black and white birds called pee-wees (after their song) or magpie-larks, that specialise in attacking reflective surfaces. It gets annoying when it’s the french windows at the back of the house….

  10. dayphoto says:

    I think they are delightful. The while splashes are not, but you seem to take them with stride!

  11. rutigt says:

    That´s really a cute looking bird 🙂

  12. Jen Gardener says:

    Love that you added their calling sound! I can picture them doing their noisy strut so much better with that! Hope they’re making their offerings less car related now!

    • katechiconi says:

      Their preferred perch is still the wing mirrors, but as we’ve been so hot and dry up here, I put out a hanging bird feeder filled with fresh water every day, and that’s the new spot for these clowns 🙂

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