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Rankin Springs NSW

Coastal and dryland birds meet in abundance at Rankin Springs in mid-west New South Wales. The Lachlan Fold Wildlife Action Group monitor the Glossy Black Cockatoo population and provide nest boxes to support the area's unique wildlife. Dams and ponds in the forests north and south of Rankin Springs are excellent bird-watching venues.

Photo: Glossy Black Cockatoos feed on Casuarina seeds and then fly down to drink in farm dams before roosting for the night. Surveyors are assigned to watch every waterhole in the district simultaneously to count these unique birds.

The Australian Hobby, a small member of the Falcon family. Swift in flight, it catches and eats its prey on the wing. This bird was seen hunting in an open space on the fringes of the Cocopara Nature Reserve.

The Australian Hobby, a small member of the Falcon family. Swift in flight, it catches and eats its prey on the wing. This bird was seen hunting in an open space on the fringes of the Cocopara Nature Reserve.

This young Wedge-tailed Eagle is nearly ready to leave the nest. This photograph was taken from a distance with telescopic lens to avoid disturbing the bird. Fully grown, its wingspan may reach 2.3 metres. Wedge-tailed Eagles are seen, often soaring high, across the farmlands around Rankin Springs.

This young Wedge-tailed Eagle is nearly ready to leave the nest. This photograph was taken from a distance with telescopic lens to avoid disturbing the bird. Fully grown, its wingspan may reach 2.3 metres. Wedge-tailed Eagles are seen, often soaring high, across the farmlands around Rankin Springs.

Rainbow Bee-eaters spread to southern Australia in spring. Bee-eaters catch insects then return to the perch to eat. Often seen in more open scrub-land and remnant vegetation on farms. Usually not too far from water.

Rainbow Bee-eaters spread to southern Australia in spring. Bee-eaters catch insects then return to the perch to eat. Often seen in more open scrub-land and remnant vegetation on farms. Usually not too far from water.

The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater feeds on nectar and fruit, but also eats insects, reptiles and sometimes baby birds. In the arid woodland, mallee and scrub it fills a similar role to the Wattlebirds of the coast. They are widespread around Rankin Springs.

The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater feeds on nectar and fruit, but also eats insects, reptiles and sometimes baby birds. In the arid woodland, mallee and scrub it fills a similar role to the Wattlebirds of the coast. They are widespread around Rankin Springs.

The White-browed Woodswallow is a summer visitor to inland south-eastern Australia, returning north for the winter. It feeds on both insects and nectar and is seen in a wide range of habitats, sometimes in very large flocks.

The White-browed Woodswallow is a summer visitor to inland south-eastern Australia, returning north for the winter. It feeds on both insects and nectar and is seen in a wide range of habitats, sometimes in very large flocks.

Apostlebirds make a bowl shaped nest out of mud. They are usually seen in co-operative family groups of up to 12 birds across farmlands, forests and woodland. They share building nests and raising their young.

Apostlebirds make a bowl shaped nest out of mud. They are usually seen in co-operative family groups of up to 12 birds across farmlands, forests and woodland. They share building nests and raising their young.

Hooded Robins sit on low branches in the forest, swooping to the ground to feed on insects. They are found in woodlands across most of Australia but numbers are diminishing in some places along with other woodland birds.

Hooded Robins sit on low branches in the forest, swooping to the ground to feed on insects. They are found in woodlands across most of Australia but numbers are diminishing in some places along with other woodland birds.

Male Spotted Bowerbirds make bowers from grass. Unlike the coastal Satin Bowerbird, who decorate with blue objects, Spotted Bowerbirds decorate their bower with green and white objects to impress females. Photographed at the motel in Rankin Springs.

Male Spotted Bowerbirds make bowers from grass. Unlike the coastal Satin Bowerbird, who decorate with blue objects, Spotted Bowerbirds decorate their bower with green and white objects to impress females. Photographed at the motel in Rankin Springs.

Chestnut-rumped Thornbills frequent semi-arid woodland, mulga and acacia scrubland, feed on insects. They feed from the low branches of small trees and shrubs, sometimes feeding on the ground.

Chestnut-rumped Thornbills frequent semi-arid woodland, mulga and acacia scrubland, feed on insects. They feed from the low branches of small trees and shrubs, sometimes feeding on the ground.

The Splendid Fairy-wren adds a splash of colour to the dryland shrubby undergrowth. Splendid Fairy-wrens are found in dense shrubland, acacia woodlands and mallee. They feed on insects on the ground.

The Splendid Fairy-wren adds a splash of colour to the dryland shrubby undergrowth. Splendid Fairy-wrens are found in dense shrubland, acacia woodlands and mallee. They feed on insects on the ground.

The Mallee version of the Australian Ringneck parrot is distinguished by its red frontal band and blue grey upper back. The waterholes around Rankin Springs are excellent places to see parrots, honeyeaters and water birds of the woodlands and the arid lands.

The Mallee version of the Australian Ringneck parrot is distinguished by its red frontal band and blue grey upper back. The waterholes around Rankin Springs are excellent places to see parrots, honeyeaters and water birds of the woodlands and the arid lands.

Small birds in particular disappear when land is cleared and undergrowth is removed. The remaining stands of bush become too isolated for safe travel between them. This Striated Pardalote is only 10cms long. It feeds in the high foliage of trees on insects and their larvae.

Small birds in particular disappear when land is cleared and undergrowth is removed. The remaining stands of bush become too isolated for safe travel between them. This Striated Pardalote is only 10cms long. It feeds in the high foliage of trees on insects and their larvae.

White-plumed Honeyeaters and other honeyeaters take advantage of nectar from garden plants as well as their main food source, the nectar, pollen and manna from flowering eucalyptus trees. The White-plumed Honeyeater can be seen in open bush and road-side trees.

White-plumed Honeyeaters and other honeyeaters take advantage of nectar from garden plants as well as their main food source, the nectar, pollen and manna from flowering eucalyptus trees. The White-plumed Honeyeater can be seen in open bush and road-side trees.

Glossy Black-Cockatoos will watch the waterhole for up to 20 minutes before descending for a drink. Photographed in the Jimberoo State Forest just north of Rankin Springs.

Glossy Black-Cockatoos will watch the waterhole for up to 20 minutes before descending for a drink. Photographed in the Jimberoo State Forest just north of Rankin Springs.