What Birds Teach Us by WA Hewson – Book Review

What Birds Teach Us by WA Hewson is a very unique book with the clever idea of highlighting particular traits of birds and finding parallels in our own lives. Each Australian bird species featured in the book has some interesting information about their behaviour with a few words on what we can learn from these birds and how to incorporate that into our own lives and also why it is important for us that we should do so.

For instance, we can learn trust by watching our parents love, care and nurture us, just like the sea eagle chicks who trust their parents when they are pushed out of the nest to fly for the first time, trusting their parent will catch them in time should they not be able to fly.

Another example is that we can strive to remain happy even when things aren’t going our way and be grateful for what we do have, just like the golden whistler who continues singing beautiful melodies even when food may be scarce and they are undergoing hard times.

We can also learn patience by observing the white-faced heron, who is often spotted standing in shallow water, watching and waiting ever so patiently for the right time to act on its next meal as it swims by. In today’s stressful times, it can be very beneficial for people to slow down and use some self-control, and simply wait until the time is right to have what you want instead of pushing the limits to get what you want right now and put yourself in a worse situation.

These are the things that birds teach us and they are thought provoking indeed.

It is obvious from reading the book that the author, Mr Hewson,  has a passion for Australia’s diverse birdlife as this clearly comes across in the knowledgeable information he imparts about each species of bird. Hewson’s knowledge in family counselling also shows in the insightful comments he makes about each bird’s behaviour and how we can be like them. The book is also stunningly illustrated with big, beautiful photographs of Australia’s native birds taken by the author himself.

This is definitely a book to treasure and share with your children and grandchildren and is money well worth spent. I have had this book for about a year now, and I still like to get it out on occasion and flip through the pages and pictures.

Visit the author’s website for more information about this book and to purchase it, and also check out the author’s birding blog.

Please note that I purchased a copy of What Birds Teach Us of my own volition and the views expressed in this review are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

New Bilby Exhibit at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

I have never seen a bilby in the wild so I was really happy when I heard that there was a brand new bilby exhibit at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary here on the Gold Coast.

Unfortunately, there weren’t any signs throughout the grounds that I could see telling you where to find them (although they may have them up now since it’s been a few weeks since my visit). After checking the Nocturnal House (where you would think they would be) and then walking around for ages looking for the bilbies, I eventually asked a Sanctuary volunteer.

I was quite surprised where the bilby exhibit was located. It’s not only difficult to find, but it’s in amongst a children’s play area. No wonder I couldn’t find it!

The exhibit itself looks quite good for the several bilbies they have, and they were quite active when I was there. Interestingly, they share the enclosure with endangered ghost bats! The exhibit is a long enclosure with a glass wall so even little ones can easily see the bilbies scampering about and also watch the ghost bats hanging from the roof. There is a door at each end of the walkway along the glass wall and it’s quite dark when the doors are closed with only a dim light to see by.

Unfortunately, because of the enclosure’s location, there were numerous kids running through the walkway, opening doors, screaming and yelling, standing in the doorway holding the door open so the whole place was flooded with light. Needless to say, I didn’t spend a lot of time there.

I later found out that the bilby enclosure is placed in that area because it’s part of the Sanctuary’s Kids Conservation Trail.

I think it’s great that the Sanctuary has added the bilby enclosure, they’re a native animal that most Australians wouldn’t ever get to see out in the wild. And I think it’s a great idea to get kids interested in wildlife and conservation as well. But if you want to see the bilbies, I would recommend that you go on a weekday when all the kids are at school! 😃

The Funny and Unusual Names for Clusters of Animals

The other day, a friend told me they heard that a group of giraffes was called a tower and thought someone was pulling their leg. After Googling it and confirming it, I thought this seemed quite appropriate for giraffes when you think about it.

It got me thinking, what other unusual names are there for different groups of animals?

I did some quick research on the internet and came up with some interesting words describing clusters of various animals. Some are funny, some are bizarre, and some of them just seem made up!

Here are just some I discovered that can be applied to animals in Australia. Which ones have you heard of?


A kaleidoscope of butterflies

A mob of emus

A rookery of albatross

An intrusion of cockroaches

A scourge of mosquitoes

A charm of finches

A smack of jellyfish

A murder of crows

A convocation of eagles

A gam of whales

A chatroom of galahs

A bask of crocodiles

A lounge of lizards

A parliament of owls

A drove of hares

A knot of toads

An ostentation of peacocks

A deceit of lapwings

A company of parrots

A wreck of seabirds

A squadron of pelicans

A gulp of cormorants

A wisdom of wombats

A siege of herons

A carolling of currawongs

A caravan of camels

A concentration of kingfishers

A skulk of foxes

An unkindness of ravens

A paddle of platypus


I hope you found this list interesting, and maybe also somewhat amusing!

If you know of any other unusual names for a cluster of animals, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

(The pictures included in this post are not mine and you can visit the site they originate from by clicking on them.)