The Rainforest Journal: Outing #12 – Day 9

(Saturday 25-October-2014)


He didn't exactly hate it.

He didn’t exactly hate it.


Lizard-man is outside eating the potato pasta I saved for him, though he doesn’t seem so keen for this creamy pasta as he is for the regular stuff. I’m sure like most too, how ‘keen’ he is relates directly to how hungry he is and after a kilogram of chicken necks on the first day then a regular brunch of pasta most days since then, well; I’m sure he wouldn’t be so fussy if he didn’t get so well fed.

He’s actually just left, unusually quick visit for him. Evidently the new creamy potato pasta wasn’t worth coming back for. He normally hangs around basking too. Oh well, whatever. Must have important reptilian business to attend to.



So I was going to write about how interesting Ants actually are – since I saw what appeared to be an Ant Queen beginning a new nest in the ground just a few feet away from the tent. It’s either a Queen, or an extremely large, shiny type of Ant that I’ve never seen here. I’ve read online that the Queens are responsible for choosing new nest locations, and since this hole is only big enough for the her to turn around in – as she carefully excavates one grain of dirt at a time – I assume she must be the Boss.

This Ants big plans for a whole new home, finished by a hungry bird.

This Ants big plans for a whole new home, finished by a hungry bird.

Just after snapping that photo however two Ravens swooped-down and landed in the area close to where I was crouched-down taking photos of the Ants nest in the making.

I assumed the usual non-threatening “statue” pose as I watched them perform a brief investigation of the camp – no doubt casing the place out for anything that might trap or eat them – and once they were both more or less satisfied that nothing was going to spring-out at them, the larger bird began working it’s way towards me. Not directly towards me of course, but in the usual ‘arc’-shaped, wide-berth approach.

As soon as it got around the other side of me of course, the first thing it did was lean down, peck-up the very Ant I was just watching and eat it. So I suppose it no longer matters whether it was a Queen or not, since it’s “no longer with us”.

Raven or Crow though, this is second or third time they’ve dropped-in for a visit and I’ve identified that they’re a parent/chick combo. The last time they were here I noticed that the smaller bird was a bit jumpier when it came to picking things off the ground. He’d Peck the leaves then jump about a foot into the air in fright, flapping his wings. He’d then return to the spot and do it again and again; leaping back everytime he’d peck at the ground. The larger of the two birds didn’t have any such problems, simply pecking pasta and bits of stale bread off the ground like a seasoned professional.

The little one is the bird at the back. He still has the odd white under-feather or two from his nesting days.

The little one is the bird at the back. He still has the odd white under-feather or two from his nesting days.

This visit though, the smaller bird spent most of it’s time a few feet behind the adult – who I will assume is his parent, making little “arrh” noises like he wanted to be fed. The parent bird paid the youngster no attention at all, focused entirely on the collection and pecking-up of as much food scraps as possible.

Watching the little one; since they both arrived around twenty minutes ago the younger bird hasn’t quite been brave enough to walk nearer to the tent and so hasn’t had a scrap to eat yet, I got out a small bag of rolled-oats I haven’t bothered to eat and start tossing handfuls around as far away from the tent as possible so the baby bird would be able to get to it, and that got him eating. Even when the adult bird flew away, the little one continued to pick at the oats for several minutes. Eventually of course, he flew back to the adult; who appeared to be perched waiting in a tree, not too far away.

Baby bird finally gets some food too.

Baby bird finally gets some food too.

He spends most of his time with his mouth open like this, making quiet little "arh" sounds.

He spends most of his time with his mouth open like this, making quiet little “arh” sounds.

This brings-up another interesting possible theory. Perhaps the parent bird simply refuses to help it’s offspring, because it needs to learn to get over the whole ‘too timid’ thing and find its own food.

Naturally, if the adult bird ignores the young chick long enough, it will start to get hungry enough to do as its parents do: just walk up and take the food.

Makes me also wonder whether the reason the parent flew away was to try to dissuade it’s offspring from taking handouts from unknown humans – to prevent the young bird from becoming dependant on our scraps – thus being less able to hunt for its own food. Maybe. Certainly looked like the two were out flying around to teach the baby bird, adult bird things.



I’ve tried again for a photo of the furry little buttpain, only to have him leave when I open the door and flick on the light. Understandably, the white light would hurt his eyes – being a nocturnal creature – but without light, cameras cannot take photos so it’s a necessary evil: The light.

I can watch him eat the whole meal if I use the dim red light, but all I get to see with that are dark red highlights and shadows. It goes without saying, so I don’t know why am I saying it, that the camera doesn’t work with such a low level of light. Maybe some $2000 SLR with an ISO of 50,000 might take a nice shot in so little light, but even then I doubt it’d be much of a photo.

Anyway camera or no camera, I don’t care to watch him with the red light: it’s just too red. Maybe if I start talking to him more while he’s out there eating he’ll be more inclined to let me photo him, but yet again, any light bright enough for any standard camera to work will hurt his eyes, and I can’t see him just sitting there allowing me to basically blind him any time soon.

It’s a pity really because the little fucker comes every night. Even when I’m asleep and he comes, the plate of pasta is always completely emptied and yet because he’s so antisocial I don’t have anything to write about him besides, “Possum ate the pasta again”. Stupid little shithead. So far, I’ve seen less personally from the Possum – who’s meant to be a Mammal and therefore more intelligent – that any other creature out here. Yesterday, I actually saw the lizard yawn, and even the Ants stop to get all OCD on their feelers if they don’t seem to be sitting right. Still the Possum just sneaky-eats, and that’s all he does.

/spits @ Possum.

Anyway that’s probably about enough. I ended-up going for water earlier, and upon arriving back here found the adult Raven/Crow had returned for more scraps, but this time he’d left his offspring at home.

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