The Crested Pigeon is a stocky pigeon with a conspicuous thin black crest. Most of the plumage is grey-brown, becoming more pink on the underparts. The wings are barred with black, and are decorated with glossy green and purple patches. The head is grey, with an pinkish-red ring around the eye. If startled, this pigeon takes to the air with a characteristic whistling flight, and glides with down turned wings. The whistling sound is produced by the air passing over a modified primary feather on the wing. Upon landing, the pigeon swings its tail high in the air.
Gouldian Finches are Australia’s most spectacularly coloured grass finches, and are perhaps the most spectacularly coloured of all Australian birds. They are small birds, with a bright green back, yellow belly and a purple breast. The facial colour is usually black, and is found in about 75% of the birds. The Gouldian Finch is patchily distributed in tropical northern sub-coastal areas from Derby, Western Australia, to the Gulf of Carpentaria and thinly to central Cape York Peninsula, but is locally common in the north and north-western parts of its range.
Long-tailed Grass finches, are found in the Northern Australia from the Kimberley region in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and east to the Leichhardt River in western North Queensland. The nominate (yellow-billed) race occurs in the western part of the range, whereas the subspecies (red-beaked P. a. hecki) occurs in the eastern areas. There is a blending of the two forms where their territories overlap, where birds’ beaks occur in shades of orange.
He is known throughout the world for his paintings; The Australian and New Guinean and Nigerian Governments have bought and displayed his original paintings produced for his earlier books. David Attenborough has produced documentaries on his work. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia gave him a rare accolade by presenting him with gold medal for distinction in natural history art. He was the first Australian to be given such an award. The academy does not invite competition for the medal and awards, it only periodically, after scanning the globe for someone “whose artistic endeavours have contributed to mankind”. Books have occupied most of Mr. Cooper’s working life for the past 30 years. He has published major works on “Birds of Paradise and Bower Birds”, “Parrots of the World”, “Australian Parrots”, and “Kingfishers”. These are equivalent to John Gould’s famous books. Bill Coopers paintings have set a new standard for excellence for scientific publications. His paintings are described as modern monuments to science and art. Bill passed away in 2015.
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