Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yellow hello not so mellow

Bright and breezy start to 2009 and life outside the nest for this new-fledged Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus) on bush in front of Tyto hide. Parent bird not keen on having people around and letting everyone know it.

The Yellows thus join pairs of Brown-backed Honeyeaters, Willie Wagtails and Crimson Finches in successfully producing young from nests in the three paperbarks that ring the hide. White-breasted Woodswallows used the main vertical fork (as usual) in another paperbark just 10 metres away across a narrow and shallow channel.

But Red-browed Finches (formerly Firetails) (Neochmia temporalis) have not returned to the heights of the trees, which they have used in the past. The pictured bird is building the typical bulky oval nest within twiggy growth on an exposed branch close to a nearby track and a mere two metres above the mown grass.

The site is an odd choice for a bird that normally shows remarkable caution when approaching the nest. The nest tree is seldom reached directly. Most often, the birds carry nest material (and - after hatching - food) into an adjoining tree before sneaking across to their true destination. Makes it easier for me to watch, if all goes well.

Also easier to watch than is commonly the case, this Yellow Oriole (Oriolus flavocinctus) hunting close to the water's edge at the first lagoon. Yellow Orioles will occasionally forage for prey close to the ground in open habitat if it offers low growth with bushy stems stiff enough to carry their weight. Olive-backed Orioles stick more to the trees.      


mick said...

Lovely birds and photos! and you had me reaching for my birding book to find that we don't get either the Yellow Honeyeater or the Yellow Oriole down here :-( My birding book is Slater's field guide and it still has the Red-browed Finch as a Firetail. Guess I need a new book! Your post was definitely a learning experience!

Tyto Tony said...

Gidday Mick,

Nothing wrong with Slater. Though it is a bit dated, for me the art is still the benchmark. Besides, given major taxonomic revamp just last year most field guides fall short on accuracy of names. I double check (when I remember) with list based on the Christidis and Boles revamp.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Tony,
Love that yellow on the Honeyeater.
The Red-browed Finch may have been courting? Like some other Aussie finches, I think at times they carry a 'flower' with them to impress the girls! I've watched this behaviour on several occasions.

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