Hello folks who wonder if Thanksgiving perfectly coincides with winter so you can hide those extra pounds by wearing multiple layers of clothing,

Note: This is a part of the series highlighting Australia's fascinating world of Natural History. Don't be disappointed if you do not see this stuff in your backyard, it's not your fault.

Australian White Ibis is a bird endemic to Australia and historically preferred grasslands, lagoons and floodplains. Their ancestors munched on frogs, mice, crayfish(crawfish for some) and mussels. But times have changed now, for humans the definition of spending your evening now involves watching some doctor pop pimples or shopping for fake braces on Amazon. The ever expanding human population have now displaced them from their habitat and fished most of the crayfish and mussels to be served at fine dining restaurants. So what options does the Australian White Ibis have?
It has now left its preferred habitat and started to reside in urban areas. For food, it has now started to scavenge trash bins for food scraps like chips, rice and bread. Most fast food establishments sell high carb foods which are hard to find in nature, but equally easy to find in trash bins.

Below is the Australian White Ibis, also called
Bin chicken for their habit of searching for discarded food scraps in trash bins and sidewalks.

They are not shy of humans any more and people who feel guilty of eating an entire burger while 
they are on a keto diet, will often throw leftover pieces of bread to the bin chicken so their conscience can let them sleep at night.

Ferns are found in moist, shady forests and in people's homes. The ferns we see in California have their rhizomes under the ground.
Take a look at the fern structure in the diagram below to understand what I am talking about.

The largest fern in California is the Giant chain Fern which has long fronds reaching almost 8 feet. Below is the Giant chain fern aspiring to become a big fern.

So you can understand my surprise when I came across Tree ferns in Australia which are ferns characterized by a trunk elevating the fronds. This trunk is actually the modified rhizome which is now vertical instead of being horizontal. Even though it closely resembles the trunk of trees, no woody tissue is present in its rhizome.
This can cause these ferns to reach heights of almost 40 feet. Below is the rhizome of the Rough Tree fern.

Sadly, the tree fern population of Australia has been on the decline in the past 100 years because of loss of habitat and unsustainable harvesting by nurseries.
Below is a human for scale in front of one of those tree ferns.

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