Friday, July 24, 2015

Another Two Town Birds

A pair of Pied Currawongs is a fairly regular visitor to our tiny backyard here in West Gippsland. The Currawong is an omnivorous scavenger and has a varied diet that might consist of seeds, fruits, insects, small reptiles, carrion and even other bird’s nestlings. They’ve suffered from a bad reputation ever since settlement apparently.

She on the left, He on the right - much darker.
I quite like their boldness as they raid the territory of other birds, paying little heed to species like the Noisy Miner trying to chase them off. The Pied Currawong has a variety of calls and there are even regional differences. In this area, the ‘hark-hark-the-lark’ sound is an iconic winter call that to my ear is rather pleasing.
"Any scraps today?"
A beautiful bird that we sometimes take for granted, the Galah, is a hollow nester and as always toward the end of winter, the pressure to find a suitable nesting hole begins to mount. With some friends recently, we spotted a bird busily chewing away at small hole high in a tall eucalypt in one of our parks.

The bird could almost disappear inside

‘The missus’ was patiently waiting nearby. I’ve often observed this species guarding a nice hollow for several weeks before laying and incubation commences and I suspect it will be some time before this female begins to brood.

When the nesting chamber is ready, they will line it with green leafy twigs, something that no other parrot does apparently.
More ready than I thought, that might be a brood patch on her belly?
A strange fact is that although adult Galahs can live for many years, a lot of young birds will die in their first summer. Just 10% of fledglings will go on to breed.


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