Nature's Place

Kooki Kool

Recently a family of Kookaburra’s moved into the neighbourhood, maybe driven by the extraordinary weather and lack of food in their usual habitat. There have been so few insects in the local wild places, as I noted in other posts.

At first they were laughing a lot, as Kooki’s do, and hanging out for a feed. Wherever I went in the garden there they would be, looking at me, sometimes laughing, sometimes ‘asking’ for food – in their way. One day all three came to the balcony and sat for a few pictures, a pleasure for me.

Fresh meat is their thing and with no insects it was mince from my dear and generous neighbour’s fridge, of course I paid my share. Then, after a while, they settled into the area and didn’t ask for food so much. I think they must have found someone nearby to feed them regularly, good for them.


There is something magical about birds. In the fact of things, wherever you go there you will find a bird. They are everywhere and they see everything, at least more than anything else on the planet. I believe they are known in various cultures as the messengers of the Gods and I can see why, amongst all the creatures they so obviously fly. Magical indeed.

It’s not just in the fact of things that they are respected and even revered, for their form and function, colour and song, their beauty. But in the truth of things, what is behind the fact, they are the ‘messages’ of the Gods. Their forms – of fact – the bringers of that message.

When it happens to you, you will know what the message is, because it is already in you. The sound and sight of a bird will point to it. The thing is not to ignore it since it is from the ‘gods’ and serves the greater purpose of life on earth.

To wake up, to the being of a sunbeam, from the dream of past and future that is the human mind today.


Walking in the woods the last few days I have been touched by many of our little friends, some yellow backs flashing as they passed swiftly by, some crimson heads bobbing around the bush in front, the royal blue of the long tailed tit, and such high pitched songs that were often bordering on the range of hearing, and all the usual characters heard and sighted in the shadows of the green, coming and going, to me and away.

All in concert, a single song, of the love of where I come from.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge


23 Responses

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  1. Heather said, on 15/08/2011 at 2:25 pm

    Stunning portraits of these amazing birds. I was totally enamoured by the kookaburras when I was in Australia several years ago now. I’ve spent much of my life studying birds, and I agree, there is something pretty magical about them.

    • Mark said, on 18/08/2011 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks Heather, wonderful creatures birds. Had a wild Butcher bird come to talk today, she must have been hungry. :)

  2. Tammie said, on 13/08/2011 at 3:33 am

    such wonderfully intimate portraits.
    i love your words: To wake up, to the being of a sunbeam, from the dream of past and future that is the human mind today. thank you ~

    • Mark said, on 14/08/2011 at 12:28 am

      Thanks Tammie. It was an exceptional day they came to pose a while …

  3. emerrube said, on 25/07/2011 at 12:06 am

    that’s so cool. :) it sure has been a weird spring/summer. it’s cool to see how animals adapt.

  4. Mike Moruzi said, on 23/07/2011 at 1:18 pm

    Great kookaburra shots! You’re lucky to have them so close! I love how the first one looks like he’s grinning.

    • Mark said, on 23/07/2011 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks Mike. Lucky, yes. Haven’t you noticed, all natural creatures have a smile. It’s not easy to see sometimes though.

  5. Ineke said, on 23/07/2011 at 9:38 am

    They are amazing birds and you have certainly captured the beauty of them!

    • Mark said, on 23/07/2011 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Ineke. They have their ways, don’t they …

  6. yoshizen said, on 23/07/2011 at 12:47 am

    It always amazes me, the quality of your photography, and on top of that ” Love to the Nature “.
    Since I’ve been doing somewhere in the same field, there are so many wonders in your work :-)
    Like those photos here, —– were they photographed by your Panasonic camera and on its zoom ?
    ( If it was the case, why do we need to have big SLR and heavy tele-photo lens ? )
    And such as the second photo ( looking up ) —– how you managed to capture such intimate image ?
    —– All those because you spend long enough to be friended with them ?
    Or you got a kind of atmosphere ( such as that the legend of great master having the birds came to his
    shoulder ) as to be a Zen master ?
    ( —– If that was the case, I need to have a lot more to learn :-D )
    Thanks to show me the great teachings.

    • Mark said, on 23/07/2011 at 10:37 am

      G’day Yoshi. These were shot with an FZ18 from about four feet away and I had time to get it right as the birds simply sat there for me. For almost any other shot of birds you will need your very fast high quality SLR. It’s true of many creatures if you spend time showing them you are not a threat, and especially if you feed them in their time of need, they will come to accept you, closer and closer. And if a zen master has birds feeding out of his hand that’s because he’s in his own garden and has fed them before.

      There is also the extraordinary moment when a wild thing/bird can come and sit in your open hand, and be gone in an instant. That can happen to anyone and is a moment of pure delight. Truth is, in the world behind this one we are not seperate, the birds and I, so it’s only natural that we come together in existence on occasion. ((:

      But it won’t likely happen if you are not where birds are, will it.

  7. Lunar Euphoria said, on 22/07/2011 at 11:08 pm

    You captured so much personality in the pictures! They’re wonderful – as are your words on the topic. Thanks for sharing them!

    • Mark said, on 22/07/2011 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks LE. Every creature is a unique expression of a certain wonder, or character, or life. You know, the unnameable behind. If I capture anything it is what is presented and that I am present to the expression. I trust I make sense.

  8. bareego said, on 22/07/2011 at 10:53 pm

    wow, you got really close to this pretty kooki :O) what a cutie

    • Mark said, on 22/07/2011 at 11:36 pm

      I can approach within a few feet of them without a sign of fright. In fact I have hand fed one once, they are very trusting for wild birds.

  9. jamiun micheal said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:47 pm

    thanks Mark for sharing these two pics of bird..stunning photos like detail..i love your site and of course your passion for your work

    • Mark said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks Michael. Always good to hear from you …

  10. niasunset said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:13 pm

    They are so beautiful, so beautiful. Well captured. I loved them, Thank you Mark, with my love, nia

    • Mark said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks you Nia. The beauty you see is within you.

  11. starzyia said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:09 pm

    wow, both the photographs and your words are beautiful and such a special thing to share.

    • Mark said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you Zia. It is only a reflection of your own true self …

  12. Star B. Prior said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:05 pm

    I love birds but they are so difficult for a mediocre photographer like me to capture. They just don’t stay long enough or steady enough to get a good photo. I got a few lucky shots tho. I just have to photograph more (and convince my husband that birds are worth taking pictures of ;)

    Very nice shots, as usual. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mark said, on 22/07/2011 at 5:41 pm

      Thank you Star. Birds are difficult, fast, but I was lucky these guys just sat there for a while so I could get it right on a few. If you are in a country with cold winters you could feed them regularly in the garden when they need it and they will get used to you.

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