I think this image speak volumes of the march of the cane toad into the Northern Territory (apart from all those shades of brown). We stopped to look at some brolgas near a waterway on our drive home from down south, and happened to see this tableau.
It may not be the case, but it looked to me like the night heron had possibly pecked at the toad, killing it, only to die itself from the toad’s poison. It certainly reminds us that the cane toad migration is in full force and has a substantial impact on the native wildlife. This is the first year we’ve had them on our suburban block. Call in Toadbusters and the toad traps.
For those unfamiliar with cane toads, some bright spark brought them in the 1930s to combat the cane beatle which was affecting crops. Like so many introduced species it then went crazy and has had a terrible effect on native animals. Unfortunately there’s also a native frog in the Top End which at a casual glance looks similar to a cane toad -those we don’t want to destroy!
BTW I am not a bird expert so if my bird identification is incorrect please leave a comment and set me straight.