Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Duncan McCaskill, who lives in Canberra, sent a batch of photos from Oz, some of which depict WALLABY BOXING. His captions are indented:

These photos are from Cape Hillsborough, a small national park in north Queensland about 30km north of the city of Mackay. It has hills covered with rainforest that extends down to the beach. I visited there in May last year, back in the old days when travelling around the country was allowed. There is a small caravan park behind the beach, and one of the highlights for tourists staying there is the feeding of the wallabies on the beach at dawn. The wallabies are Agile Wallabies (Macropus agilis), which are common across northern Australia. Wallabies often feed on beaches, foraging for seed pods of mangroves washed up along the tide line.

Spectators are organised behind lines of plastic cones to stop them getting too close to the wallabies. A semi-tame young Eastern grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) lined up with the people until the food is laid out. It was a hand-raised orphan that hangs around caravan park.

The wallabies feeding as the sun starts to rise. You can see two young males more interested in having a bit of fight than feeding.

A female with a joey in the pouch. The females were much more interest in eating than the males.

Some more pictures of the males fighting. I think they are mostly young males and the fights didn’t look very vicious.

Taking a brief rest between rounds:

After the human-supplied food was all gone, some of the wallabies went back to foraging along the tide line.
And to finish, a couple of birds from the same place. Here’s a Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novoeguineae) that had just caught a small frog – I’m afraid I have no idea what species of frog it is.

A Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus regina). It is hard to get good photos of rainforest species because they are nearly always in deep shade. But this spectacular male was right on the edge of the forest at the beach, catching the early morning sun.



  1. boudiccadylis
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed the pictures. Thank you. Probably the closest I’ll ever get to Australia.

  2. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Nice pictures, beautiful dove!

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I see that second picture of the ‘roos fighting, and think, “Dammit, Bruce, will you stop trying to lead?”

  4. GBJames
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Very nice pictures.

    “The females were much more interest in eating than the males.”

    I’m left wondering if the female kangaroos were not interested in the males or if the males weren’t interested in eating.

  5. rickflick
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    That fruit dove reminds me of a box of crayons. Australia is simply extraordinary.

    • Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      I was thinking of a sno-cone type dessert or Popsicle, but I know exactly what you mean!

      • Posted April 27, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Same here. Maybe with some pistachio and Neopolitan icecream scoops without the chocolate part.

  6. jedijan
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    We used to live in nearby Mackay many years ago and sometimes visited Cape Hillsborough. Don’t recall anyone feeding the wallabies back then, but they would often be abundant in the park area in the afternoon also. I have heard they sometimes go in the water and can swim, although I have never seen that.

  7. EdwardM
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    What do the humans feed to the wallabies? Do they eat anything besides mangrove seed pods when they’re on the beach? Crustaceans? Shellfish?

  8. Posted April 27, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Very much enjoyed these. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Posted April 27, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I used to feed a kookaburra tinned tuna on my balcony when I lived in northern NSW. It would start kuk-kuking happily when I’d open the tin and it smelled it!

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Watch me wallabies feed, mate
    Watch me wallabies feed
    They’re a dangerous breed, mate
    So watch me wallabies feed

    Altogether now!

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