Category Archives: Birds

Australasian Figbird

Everyday here I identify new birds, for such a birdlover its paradise, discovering more diversity here than anywhere I ever lived. I’m truly in bird heaven ❤ .

Yesterdays discovery, the male Australasian Figbird.

Sphecotheres vieilloti

As its name implies, the Australasian Figbird predominantly eats figs, although a wide variety of other fruits are eaten as well. Figbirds usually forage high in the canopy, sometimes in the company of Olive-backed Orioles. Large flocks may congregate noisily at prolifically fruiting trees, and remain until the supply of fruit is exhausted. The seeds of the figs often pass undigested through the gut of figbirds, so they are able to germinate, though in some cases they provide pigeons with a convenient source of food.


Figbirds are part of a worldwide family that includes the orioles, of which Australia has two other members (the Yellow and Olive-backed Orioles). Males have bare, red skin around the eye, contrasting against a black crown and grey neck and throat. The remainder of the body is olive-green, except for a white under-tail area. Females have grey skin around the eye and lack distinctive head markings. They are brown-green above and dull-white below, streaked with brown. Both sexes have a blackish bill. There are two distinct colour forms of the males of this species. Males north of Proserpine in Queensland have a yellow front.

Similar Species

Figbirds have a blackish bill, which easily distinguishes the species from the similar Olive-backed Oriole, which has a reddish bill. Both of the Australian orioles also lack the Figbird’s bare eye skin and have red eyes (adults). The Figbird tends to be more gregarious than either of the orioles, living semi-colonially.


The Figbird occurs across coastal regions of northern and eastern Australia from the Kimberley region in Western Australia around to the New South Wales/Victoria border.


The Figbird lives in rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests, but is often found in urban parks and gardens, particularly those with figs and other fruit-producing trees.


Figbirds feed in flocks, often of around 20 birds that are prepared to fly to isolated trees that are suitable for foraging. Figs are a particularly popular food item, although they will feed on most soft fruits and berries in canopy trees. Insects are also important components of their diet.


The gregarious behaviour of Figbirds is maintained in the breeding season, with small groups of birds nesting semi-colonially in adjoining canopy trees. The nest is cup-shaped and built of vine tendrils and twigs. It is supported by its rim from the horizontal fork of an outer branch of the canopy, up to 20 m above the ground. Both males and females incubate the eggs and feed the young.





What amazing gifts from spirit today, I feel so humbled and blessed by each and every one of them. Today marks some significant changes in my life, as the sun moves into the sign of Virgo, so does my focus also deepen into service and healing work. My morning started with a gift from Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo, a gift of her tail feather, and two encounters where she let me get within a couple of meters from her, where I spoke to her, and she responded in like with her little chatter, the energy exchange was powerful and beautiful, a cherished memory.



The very gifted Ravenari shares her animal energy on Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo on her Wild Speak  website:
Black Cockatoo – Spirit


Spirit. Rain Magic. Travel. Joy. Crying with Joy. Emotional Freedom. Spiritual Freedom. Finding Spiritual Truths. Your Inner Fire. Creativity. The Muse. Inner Beauty. Inner and Outer Wealth. Preserving What You Care For. Drumming.

General Description: 

The black cockatoos are immediately distinguishable by their characteristic black plumage. They often have very vivid white, red and yellow patches on their body. They are large parrots, with strong beaks. Some are endangered or threatened, and their futures hang in the balance.

Black cockatoos nest in tree hollows, and line their nests with eucalyptus leaves. The decline of nest hollows due to habitat destruction (particularly of old-growth forests) has meant that black cockatoos are already finding it difficult to recover old population sizes. Local Indigenous lore suggests that the beautiful calls of some of these cockatoos indicates rain.

Lessons and Challenges: 

The black cockatoo represents the power of spirit come into your life. It could be a strengthening of your own spirit and soul, or a celebration of any spirits or gods that you happen to believe in. Black cockatoo energy tends to be celebratory and can bring about empowerment, happiness and contentment.

Black cockatoos are large, heavy birds (the largest black birds in Australia) that cast larger shadows, their cries tend to herald significant changes in Indigenous mythologies, including the bringing or coming of necessary rain. Black cockatoo flies into your life to suggest that right now there is a potential for great joy and change. You may experience peaks in your emotions, and black cockatoo can even indicate crying with joy, or experiencing transformative happiness and contentment.

It would be remiss of me not to look at black cockatoo’s significance when it comes to rain magic. Black cockatoo could indicate that there may be literal rains occurring in your life, or that it may be time to get in touch with water gods, spirits and entities through rain magic and ritual. When was the last time you stood in the rain, or walked through it, taking the time to enjoy its enriching presence in your life? If you feel you are experiencing a spiritual drought right now, consider using the imagery of rain nourishing your body and soul to help revive and recharge yourself.

The presence of black cockatoo in a reading can indicate short-distance and long-distance travel.

Black cockatoo is a liberating energy, suggesting a time of emotional and spiritual freedom. You may feel more able to use different rituals, spells or thought-processes, or more able to express yourself emotionally; not just when it comes to happiness, but also when it comes to grief, anger or even fear. Black cockatoo indicates that there will be a level of purity with such expressions, and that we can aid this by consciously not judging ourselves for expression of emotion or of spirit.

Themes of creativity abound. It is time to create! Create new ways of thinking within yourself, new ways of nourishing your body and spirit (including adopting new visualisations, or new ways of eating, thinking and being). Additionally, black cockatoo indicates artistic creation and ability, whether through drawing, painting, music, dancing, writing or other pursuits.

If you used to do some form of art or theatre as a hobby, consider picking it up again, or incorporating it into your healing journey. At this time, your creative Muse is strong and willing to aid and assist you. Externalise your expressions of self onto canvas, into song, or through dance and drumming and you may be surprised at just how much your spirit grows at this time.

Black cockatoo helps us to find spiritual truths, particularly those that help nourish our inner fire, motivation and ability to use our energy to reach our goals. Black cockatoo doesn’t teach through pain and suffering, but through comfort, happiness and contentment. It can be hard, sometimes, to let go enough of our pain and our imprisoned emotions to access growth through positive emotions, but black cockatoo is an enabling energy. By taking the time and giving yourself permission to express difficult emotion, you create room in your life for emotions that actually feel good. These will stoke your inner fires and remind you how to feel a burning passion for life again.

There is a potential for inner and outer wealth when black cockatoo comes into your life. It may be a time to work on securing raises, reminding yourself of how much you’ve saved or achieved monetarily, or looking at how rich and fortunate you are spiritually or emotionally. Take the time to appreciate the wealth you do have, even if you feel you may have none. Through valuing the wealth you already do have, you will find more opportunities and inroads to expanding that wholistically.

It is important to preserve what you care for. Materially, this involves looking after your home and the objects within that home. Keep your home clean enough that damage through dust isn’t an issue, don’t constantly invite guests over who will break your possessions or not care for them, and cultivate a sense of appreciation for the objects and possessions that you have earnt through hard work. Spiritually and emotionally, it is important to preserve the achievements you have worked for by not putting them down, ignoring them or forgetting about them. Take the time to write down what you have achieved spiritually, and what you have learnt emotionally over the years. What emotions have you learnt to express more positively, and how? What sort of growth or maturity do you think you’ve gained? Preserve that knowledge; write it down, meditate upon it, remember the positives that you have achieved.

Some black cockatoos actually use drumming in order to court their partners. They take time to select an appropriate beating instrument, and then will seek out a sufficient hollow log or branch to amplify their sounds. Celebrate black cockatoo energy, and life in general through drumming. It may involve creating a makeshift drum and just experimenting and having fun with the different sounds you can make. Or you can even take the time to invest in and listen to drumming based soundtracks. Drumming has been used for thousands of years to celebrate and also to contact the spirit worlds. See how you can incorporate it into your life to express yourself and your connection to the world around you.

Black cockatoo tells us that everyone has beauty on the inside, everyone. Even people in prison, even those who have committed unspeakable acts. Black cockatoo reminds us that no matter how ugly we feel, or how corrupt, there is a space of beauty inside every soul that is incorrupt and pure. Through the presence of this great bird, we can learn how to access it, to transform our opinions of ourselves and the world in general.

The Shadow Aspects: 

Those who fear or dislike black cockatoo may have severe problems finding freedom or joy. You might fear what freedom can give you, and you may even fear joy. The reasons for this might be varied – freedom brings with it the need to take responsibility for our own lives and actions; joy doesn’t last forever, and we may fear what happens when it goes away. Whatever the reasons, it is important to confront your reluctance to find true freedom in your life. This freedom is found through taking responsibility for your actions and using this responsibility to empower your future decisions and thoughts; freedom is not to be found in giving responsibility away.

Black cockatoo suggests that you may not be caring for friends, family and material objects around you enough. You have to preserve what you care for, in order for it to remain nourishing. You can preserve the things and people you care for by giving them your time, your patience, and your energy. When you give away your material and spiritual wealth, you receive in kind.


Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Black cockatoo is a powerful guide, and usually a messenger on behalf of other gods and spirits. If you have black cockatoo as a long-term guide or even as a guide, you have an extraordinarily strong locus of power to pull from. Black cockatoo’s ability to teach through emotional expression, creativity and joy also makes it one of the more cheerful teachers to work with. Black cockatoo is a communicative guide, accessible as an inspirational Muse, and also strong-minded and willed. S/he also commands a great deal of respect, and is one of a few animal guides that has no qualms abandoning you if you don’t give enough respect and humility.

However, black cockatoo can be a difficult guide to approach in journeying, let alone visualisation. This is a bird that comes at its own convenience, and not yours, and even those who have black cockatoo as a long-term guide find that there are sometimes whole seasons or years where it is absent. It can be honoured through drumming, particularly those that involve sticks or branches (such as Indigenous clacking sticks), as well as any creative expression. Offerings of artwork, song, chanting, drumming, dance and writing are appreciated.
© Ravenari



In my dreams  and trance work recently when doing work for rain, I have seen a wall of water coming this way, and I am grateful for it is so eagerly awaited as right now where I live in New South Wales we are in the deepest drought in our Whiteman’s history.

Yesterday whilst driving my heart was literally aching in my chest as I saw cattle skinny and scavenging for anything they could, their behaviour was simply not normal as I observed paddock after paddock of tension, stress and lack of feed.
How I wish that some rains will comfort both the farmers and their animals.

It’s very tough times here in the bush.



My morning ritual with my spirits, guides and allies showed me the death card of the tarot, significant and transformational, powerful, showing me to let go of all attachments to any outcome, so I am detached, humbled and clear in my new direction.

I continue to live each day by the tenent’s of Truth, Love & Beauty. Sometimes when I speak my truth, and I express my feelings I am misunderstood, I don’t want to live in the what seems to me the shadows, games, deceit and lies of the monogamous rules for relating, I am a girl who craves right now monogamy with my polyamorous heart, it seems the two misunderstand each other, and my honesty and truth is all I have.

I walk my talk and I speak my truth, what you see is what you get, no hidden agendas, I speak from my heart, and I do that with awareness and compassion.

So with the insight and lessons of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and the Death Tarot card

So I am stepping back, I am detaching, and I am following that truth.  Actions not words are what counts. Yes the death card is timely, thank you. I am no longer second best, I will be respected and honoured for all I have to offer.

I have a lion on my altar that lived on my Dad’s dressing table, as I sit and contemplate today’s energies and gifts I think of my dad, and his courage, which spurs me on to have some of his courage.  A little baby that fled the war in the Ukraine, arrived in Australia as a refugee, and when he died the little country hall that held his funeral had people spilling out the doors. He was loved for his courage, his art, his healing, his cooking and his generosity of spirit, I thank him for his ongoing love from spirit.

I walk outside, I take a few steps forward I am carrying the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo feather, holding it with pride and joy, I look up to the sky and there at that moment is a Wedge-tailed Eagle is soaring above me catching the air drifts. In spirit dad always appears to me as this bird, and my heart gladdens to know that I am making the right choices, thank you Dad for always looking out for me, I love you and miss you.

Onwards and Upwards!

© Astarté Earthwise



Full Moon in Sagittarius 2018


As we approach the full moon which is full at 12.21am in Sagittarius in the morning, my day has been full of parrots and their sounds, the talkers of the bush. They are the full moon totem I will be working with this month, as they are who have showed up for me, birds are the messengers of spirit, so in turn here is the message.

Sagittarius is about the throat, and how we express ourselves in our physical body and to pair up with parrot I pulled the Devil Tarot card.


A sign to really learn to speak your truth, how important it is to raise our awareness and speak from our hearts, to express our real needs, and be our authentic selves without the restraints (the devil card) of fear.

Time to really break through, to find the courage, and determination with (Pan’s) Saturn’s support.


At a higher level also consider your self-talk, to become aware of what we also say to ourselves, is it positive or negative? Work on that, so that you can turn around any criticism of self. You are and we all are, perfectly imperfect.

You may also work with the gemstone sodalite which assists opening the throat and heals and filters your choice of words.
A crow has been cawing also all day in the background, as I am writing its intensifying so I will also bring in her energy to assist with the change that she supports so well.

Under the light of this beautiful Bahloo wisdom moon that hangs in the sky supporting both Nungeena Tya Mother Earth and Uri Mother Sun.

The Father Moon circles around and is the consort and protector between both of our Mothers.

Father Moon shares his valuable lesson, reflecting back to us the lessons needed here on our teaching place Nungeena Tya.

In my teachings I have learned that my country is Wiradjuri here in New South Wales, the state in which I live, in this nation’s language Mother Earth is Nungeena Tya. The Sun is known as Mother Sun and is Uri, and the Father Moon is Bahloo.

Deep blessings to you on this Full Moon as He Waxes till just after midnight, bringing the light of His wisdom that has shone on all our ancestors past and present.


Bowerbird Dreaming


The most beautiful sounds are coming from the other side of my office window this morning and through yesterday’s afternoon, a female Bowerbird has decided to build a nest right there, feeling very blessed with her presence and the timely message from the spirit world.

One thing is for sure when you truly tune in and work with the totemism of this continent here in Australia, its natural spirituality, you are always shown clearly with the notice that you need to face either what is right in front of you, or what is just ahead, I am always amazed at just how accurate this system is.

For quarter of a decade now I have been attuned to totemism, reading the flora and the fauna of this unique teaching place, and the story she tells, each plant, animal, insect, reptile all hold a place of presence in my heart.

Here there is an intimate relationship between my observances and the first peoples rituals, their modes of thoughts and customs, for here lies the essence of Australia’s folklore and fairy story. The “unconscious” impulses, ideas and thoughts which do not permeate into the consciousness of our modern world.

So your arrival dear new friend has me discovering more and more about you, how though you may visit a few pretty shiney bowers you actually are a loner a solitaire if you like, building your own nest, and doing so with great care. A bit like myself you are an independant female. Your lesson is very clear that we can become a shiny being on our own, in the safety of a nest we have built with our own two talons.

The Indigenous people called you the “Ghost Bird”, I think that is more about spirit than ghosts probably misinterpreted by scholars , as you are also known to bring the bones of ancestors into your nest. You are methodical and creative with what you bring into your nest, showing us that we too need to be careful about what we bring into our lives, take our time, build slowly.

As I observe you I see that you are intelligent, cautious and shy as you build your nest, yet you sing and mimic the sound of those around you, there is so much joy as you create and sing in your hidden little world here in the bush

What a gift you bring me today, thank you female bower!


Kookaburra Dreaming


A Series of photos taken this morning here at the farm of a Female Laughing Kookaburra. I noticed that she appears to have quite yellowed feet. I feed a family of 7 Kookaburras here every day, I feed them grated mozzarella cheese and they love it, it’s also very good for their bones and feather production, as it helps build their calcium. I only feed them on sunset, and some days they dont come in, and so like this morning they are having the leftovers from yesterday.


The Laughing Kookaburra is instantly recognisable in both plumage and unique voice. It is generally off-white below, faintly barred with dark brown, and brown on the back and wings. The tail is more rufous, broadly barred with black. There is a conspicuous dark brown eye-stripe through the face. It is one of the larger members of the kingfisher family.


Usually the Male of this breed have  a more blue colour on the wings, whereas the female as in these shots shows a whitish light blue.


The Laughing Kookaburra’s range overlaps that of the Blue-winged Kookaburra, Dacelo leachii, in eastern Queensland. The call of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is coarser than that of the Laughing Kookaburra, and ends somewhat abruptly. The Blue-winged Kookaburra lacks the brown eye-stripe, has a blue tail and a large amount of blue in the wing, and has a pale eye.


Laughing Kookaburras are found throughout eastern Australia. They have been introduced to Tasmania, the extreme south-west of Western Australia, and New Zealand. Replaced by the Blue-winged Kookaburra in central northern and north-western Australia, with some overlap in Queensland, although this species is more coastal.


Laughing Kookaburras feed mostly on insects, worms and crustaceans, although small snakes, mammals, frogs and birds may also be eaten. Prey is seized by pouncing from a suitable perch. Small prey is eaten whole, but larger prey is killed by bashing it against the ground or tree branch. They also do this with their cheese.


Laughing Kookaburras are believed to pair for life. The nest is a bare chamber in a naturally occurring tree hollow or in a burrow excavated in an arboreal (tree-dwelling) termite mound. Both sexes share the incubation duties and both care for the young. Other Laughing Kookaburras, usually offspring of the previous one to two years, act as ‘helpers’ during the breeding season. Every bird in the group shares all parenting duties.


Laughing Kookaburras often become quite tame around humans and will readily accept scraps of meat. This ‘pre-processed’ food is still beaten against a perch before swallowing.


From the first day I set foot on this farm I started my relationship with the Alpha Male that lives here, I called him Charlie, when he swooped to grab some of my sandwich I had thrown to a butcher bird. I think he was letting me know he was to be fed. If of an afternoon I forget he comes to the tree outside my office and calls to me as a reminder, once he flies in for his meal, in a hanging terracotta feeder, the rest fly in and eat from below him, we have definitely bonded, and I often pat him as he eats.

Sunday’s Blessings

Did you hear the droplets fall from the mighty gum trees this morning, did you witness the liquid glistening as the Eastern Sun rose and made magical lights in the pine trees to put any Christmas tree to shame. Did the soles of your feet crunch through the frost covered lawns, and leave tracks behind like an ancestor explorer. Did you listen to the Magpie’s greeting to the new day as the Eagle’s strength flapped above you on large feathered wings? Did the discarded branches, shaken loose under a new moons blanketed sky, make you dance around them on your path this morning? Did you disturb the small heard of deer as your feet scrunched through the layer of brown gum leaves, as you headed down the hill, and did you walk towards the rising sun known as Uri, and wish her a blessed day, and peace and joy to humanity, as the moments of sunrise, give all a chance of a new beginning, new thoughts, and a new day, deepest Autumn Blessings on yours.

Magpies Song To You

The softest hidden places within my heart,

Reach out to hold your precious face in my hands.

Constellations of fire birthed us through much pain,

And now dearest lover here we are united again.

White upon white, freckle upon freckle, red upon red,

Lips upon lips, gaze upon gaze, hips upon hips.

Intuition and the stars aligned to lead me to you,

A moment, a chance, simple passions and pleasures.

Birds chirping, guitar strings, poetry of songs and Nature,

Wrap me in the strong circle of your arms, take me.

Together, hidden, we travel to the heights of ecstasy,

I devote myself to your pleasure, I give myself to you.

Sing brave warrior sing, now you must lay your sword to rest,

Now a gentle warrior, come lay with me, in my curves of softness.

Wrap yourself in my hair and return your soul to gentleness,

Kissing you softly, kissing you hard, pulses rising, beating fast.

Gentle warrior your time has come another initiation has just begun.

Packing Morning Moments

Gumboots skidding on the ice coated grass as I traverse the paddocks, two loaves of wholemeal bread, in my hands as I head for the maternity ward where the Cows are moving slowly but enthusiastically as they swagger up the hill towards me. They will be birthing as the days unfold this month, we have lost one already the first born, didn’t make it. They eat the bread greedily as I hang over the gate to feed them, all these salivating mouths and large wet noses pushing forward to get the next slice. As the sun pushes up from the horizon more ice forms on the ground, as I head for home the frost glistens in the sun like sparkling crystals, jewels dazzling all around me, the morning light delights me as I breathe deeply the coldness into my lungs, I am gathering my strength as each day passes, time to start packing, and I will pack these beautiful morning moments with me, into the precious memories I take with me from this beautiful farm by the river.