Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Town Birds #2

At the rear of the Drouin Library there is a large Ironbark which at the moment is loaded with blossom. In order to feed my current addiction – crime fiction – I have been borrowing and returning books every few days recently. All is quiet between the bookshelves but stepping out into the rear carpark one is greeted with a cacophony of raucous shrieks, chatterings and hacking coughs as various honeyeaters go about satisfying their addiction – nectar – amid the foliage and beautiful flowers of a tree that sadly was once much more prevalent in Gippsland in times gone by.

Whilst Rainbow Lorikeets will feed on fruits, seeds, buds and even insects and their larvae at times, by far their preferred diet consists of nectar and pollen. Rainbows can be quite cosmopolitan in their choice of species, often feeding on the blossoms of exotic trees and flowers.

Red Wattlebirds were the other rowdy feeders outside the library and I have ticked numerous examples in the gardens and roadside trees within the town boundary. These birds too are versatile foragers and will at times roam far and wide to satisfy their dietary needs. Just how they know when the coastal banksias are ready and then at other times the foothill eucalypts, etc, I do not know, but they seem to turn up at just the right time.

Both are welcome diners to my neighbourhood despite their table manners.

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