When walking in Ball’s Head Reserve recently, I stopped beside a small stone pool fed by a tap. A Brush Turkey had just arrived for a drink.
Almost immediately, a Pied Currawong flew into the bush behind the pool to wait for its turn.
Meanwhile, the turkey continued to drink. I was intrigued to see that it could drink without raising its head to tip the water down its gullet. (I’d previously thought that only pigeons could do this.)
By the time the turkey had finished, a second currawong had arrived. As the turkey stepped back, the first currawong flew down to check the water, and perhaps also to reassure itself that I wasn’t going to approach when it was so near the ground:
Apparently satisfied, it hopped over to the pool’s edge and began to drink:
Unlike the turkey, it could only drink with the assistance of gravity:
Thirst quenched, it went into the water for a quick dunk and spruce up.....
… before jumping out to allow the other currawong to have its turn:
The second bird swallowed a few beakfuls of water before hopping in for its own bath:
This rapidly became a splashier affair than the first currawong’s!
After a bit, it surfaced for air:
That’s when it saw two joggers approaching and flew off.
The polite behaviour of these three birds was a pleasant contrast to the confrontations I’ve described in recent posts. However I believe it’s not so unusual to see “best behaviour” etiquette among wild animals when they’re drinking at a waterhole, particularly in a drought. I saw something similar last year at a water tank at Hill Top. At first, a number of bees were drinking. Several Red-browed Firetail Finches showed up, and duly waited their turn, even as more bees turned up.
When the bees were all done, the finches moved in:
After they were finished, a waiting King Parrot took its turn.
By then the light was fading, and there were no more drinkers.