COUNTRY NOTES: AVIAN GIFTS

One of the greatest anticipations I had about moving back to our home state was to select a place to live that was both relatively close to my dear brother and also a place where a variety of wild birds frequent.  I did a fair bit of research and a lot of house hunting online and decided on our thriving town in West Gippsland.  Dairy country is where we wanted to live after putting up with six years of poor seasonal rainfall in South Australia.  We are fortunate to receive three times the annual rainfall here compared to where we lived by the ocean and we are also fortunate enough to enjoy avian visitors to our garden.  Here are a few visitors so far …..

CORELLASThese are Corellas; a bird that is despised in these parts due to their destructive habits.  A great flock turns up every summer here and has probably done so since time immemorial.  I don’t mind their extremely noisy shrieks in the early morning and late afternoon summer sky, though I have to keep an eye on these lovelies as they like to sit in our young orchard and snap off fruit tree branches with gay abandon.

GALAHSTowards the end of summer, the Galah flock tends to leave their babies in a “nursery” place for the day.  The parents then forage for seeds nearby, leaving the babies in a smaller flock.  The parents return throughout the day and feed up their babies with regurgitated seed mash.  Of course, these babies are starting to feed themselves as they are transitioning to adulthood.

The King Parrots have always been my favourite.  This is an adult male above, with its beautiful tangerine red head and body.  The female are nearly all green.  The female on the left here is thieving a green tomato from our vegetable garden.

GREY MINAHGrey Myna bird.  A lovely native that visits the garden most days, looking for nectar.  This Myna is enjoying nectar from the Agapanthus clump.

RAINBOW LORIKEETSThe nosiest birds that visit daily are Rainbow Lorikeets.  I call these “high octane” birds because of their manic, high speed flight and behaviour.  Extremely vocal, loud, garrulous and social.  These birds shriek as they fly.  You always know when the Rainbow Lorikeets visit due to their screeching noise and conversations.  Flightly, loud and extremely attractive. These are nectivorous birds, yet they will quickly take advantage of seed offerings as well.  Below is the Pied Butcherbird with its melodious call.

Of course, every avain activity is overseen by the Magpie, the ruler of the roost.  Highly intelligent and social.  Once a magpie becomes acquainted with their human resident, they accept them into their little clan.  We are now accepted by this resident family and can approach them very closely without any fear on their behalf.

These avian visitors are gifts that we enjoy every day.  A free gift but a priceless one.  Every place we have lived in around Australia has been enhanced by appropriate native bird plantings in our garden.  This garden can only improve over time and we will be rewarded by increased avian activity.

 

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