One of the things I found most interesting/amusing/foreign about Sydney is all of the crazy birds they have flying around there. Their more common birds are not little brown sparrows, but big, exotic and crazy-sounding birds that Americans would be more familiar looking at in a pet store window.
Here are some examples of what I am talking about, although this is only a small sample of what we saw, as I am no birder. I wasn't able to capture photos of the brightly colored lorikeets and rosellas that flew by us from time to time.
1. Adam called these birds below trash picking birds (for good reason, as they were congregated around the dumpster behind the local pub in his town). In reality, they are the exotic looking long billed Australian white ibis, which I only discovered after Googling "sydney trash birds." Crazy.
2. This puffy, not-so-little guy in the two photos below (photographed hanging out at Sydney's beautiful Botanical Gardens) is a kookaburra. The kookaburra has a strange sounding call- to me it sounds like a combination of a person laughing/cackling and a monkey of some sort. We heard it a couple of times in Adam's family's backyard while we were staying with them... it made it feel like we were in the middle of the jungle or something, not in suburban Sydney.
3. These guys below were particularly funny to me. Roving in packs around the city and 'burbs, these big, white, sulphur-crested cockatoos make a terrible racket- their squawking was pretty intense. Below you can see them hanging out in the trees in Sydney's Botanical Gardens, but also poking around on the roadside on the way to the Blue Mountains:
4. This little guy below (sorry for the long-distance photo) is the distinctively black and white magpie, which also has a bit of a crazy warbling call. They're also known for dive bombing people during mating season, which sounds intimidating.