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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Friday, November 26, 2010

There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. ~ Robert Lynd

 Spring is nesting time ~ & in due course the nests land on our heads, literally.  With the high winds many nests are tossed down , especially those less firmly anchored by mud or wattle & daub.  This one belongs to the noisy friar bird who has made her home in our front yard for the past few weeks.  Last year she nested outside our bedroom window ~ & the year before that, when she hatched a cuckoo egg & we all nearly went crazy with its constant loud begging.  The year before that she was out the front but her nest came down in high winds before her chick had flown & we had some very exciting moments with lots of screeching as I made a rescue from the Jaws~of ~Death, aka Issi.

Friar birds belong to the honey~eater family & are one of their larger & less beautiful representatives.  Their bald knobby heads are quite distinctive & they build large messy nests usually suspended in a forked branch & rather insecurely anchored by cobweb or fluff & string.  However I have seen them anchored, as this one was, with strips of paperbark wrapped round & round.  What fascinated me is how smart a little builder this bird is.  The outside of this nest is woven from wide & rather gappy paperbark strips, but the inner nest is packed & woven with the fine needles of the she~oak & at one time it was also cosily lined with down & fluff.  I do think birds are clever ~ at least at some things.  Like building a nest.  I couldn't do this; could you?


Joyfulmum said...

It's amazing how God created them isn't it!
So resourceful and clever they are.
As for us we are avoiding certain parks due to spring time and my dd's fear of being swooped though I keep telling her it's safe now, she wants to wait till Dec 1st when it's officially summer, lol, to visit those parks! The magpies will have magically disappeared on that date apparently:)

Gerry Snape said...

What an amazing bird to be nesting outside your window!! Jealous!!! I'll have to put up with the owl.......

Unknown said...

Clever little creatures birds are. I always wondered how they kept their nests from falling, as I was always afraid of disturbing them so I never got close enough to find out. I wish we had bird nests near our windows, what a science lesson that would be.

Catherine said...

Oh dear, I can imagine that cuckoo would have been really annoying!

If any of your readers are interested, there's a recording of the Noisy Friarbird on this page: (scroll down, on the right sidebar).

Ganeida said...

Joyfulmum: Your comment reminded me of the magpie that nested near the soccer pitch. Any game kids would be dropping randomly to the ground to avoid this one very annoyed bird. It is a learnt behaviour too.

Gerry: we have owls too ~ including the male Mopoke. This is not fun. All night he calls "mo" & you are forced to listen anxiously for his lady loves answering "poke"!

We used to hunt the nests for the kids when they were little to show them the eggs, then the chicks. You can do it if you are careful & respectful.

That cuckoo chick is the only bird I've ever wanted to strangle. Thanks for the link.