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Spotted Pardalotes nesting


twaffle
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A pair of Spotted Pardalotes have been noticed building a nesting chamber in a large pile of potting mix which sits on part of our property. These tiny birds build their nest at the end of a narrow tunnel, usually in a bank. They are quite hard to photograph because of their tiny size and mobility so my husband made a hide and sat there for a while waiting for them to return. Unfortunately, the lens he chose didn't allow him to get any closer than these pix show.

Whether the birds will be able to fledge their young only time will tell as the pile of potting mix is used on a commercial basis, although the staff are trying hard to work around the other side from the nest.

spotted%20pardaloe8884.jpg

 

pardalote8891.jpg

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Guest John Milbank

I had remarkable luck photographing a pair of these birds while I was wandering in the hills one day. They were carrying nesting material but let me approach to minimum focussing distance (about 2 metres) for quite a long time.

 

It was only later that I realised I was probably standing on or near the entrance to their nesting chamber in the side of the hill and they weren't willing to relinquish it. I felt very guilty about that. The photos can be seen on the first page of "Aussie birds" on my site.

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Lovely twaffle. A nice little male there.

 

These birds are extremely tolerant of humans. I get at least 4 individual pardalotes visiting the birdbath in my backyard many times a day.

 

I was telling John that the other day I was refreshing the water and replacing a stick that the smaller birds use in the birdbath. When I picked up the stick a pardalote landed on it about 30 cms from my hand. I then raised the stick to eye level and had a very one sided conversation with the bird for about 30 seconds.

 

The bird then flew into the bush next to me and waited for me to clean and refill the birdbath. As soon as I'd finish he landed on the rim and proceeded to drink.

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What a lovely story Geoff. We will persevere with our little pardalotes so that we can get closer photos of them. I would love to have photos of the fledglings leaving their tunnel.

 

John, did you edit your post? I can't remember seeing your mention of the photos on your site originally. I really must concentrate more. You have some lovely photos of them.

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What a lovely story Geoff. We will persevere with our little pardalotes so that we can get closer photos of them. I would love to have photos of the fledglings leaving their tunnel.

 

John, did you edit your post? I can't remember seeing your mention of the photos on your site originally. I really must concentrate more. You have some lovely photos of them.

 

twaffle,

 

If you want to see some images I've taken of the spotted pardalotes at my birdbath PM your email and I'll send a few.

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Aw - come on Geoff, we all want to see them...

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Guest John Milbank
John, did you edit your post?

 

Sorry, twaff...I think I must have. Very fuzzy headed today...two late nights photographing basketball in the heat then another three hours today covering a 36ers promotion at TTP shopping centre.

 

I'm very pleased with those pardalote shots. They were taken several years ago and I don't think I've done anything much better with tiny birds since then. I think it would be extremely rewarding if your husband could use a longer lens at close range, now that you have the nest's location. That's a thrilling start you've recorded there.

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Aw - come on Geoff, we all want to see them...

 

I would Matt but I use John's ftp server and I'm having trouble accessing it.

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Open up a album on here and upload a couple. And sorry Twaffle, great images: after mentioning about photographs of other wildlife species, this is exactly what I was thinking of. Keep them coming.

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Open up a album on here and upload a couple.

 

Now why didn't I think of that....

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OK.... For those that are interested a few pics have been uploaded to my album .

 

For those of you that do not know Aussie birds. Pardalotes & Thornbills are tiny.

 

Sparrows are about 16 cms, Queleas are about 13 cms, pardalotes and thornbills are about 8 - 10 cms

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...and John uploaded one of my images to his site too.

 

Spottedpardalote.jpg

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That is a great photo Geoff. Some sad news, however, as our little pardalotes house collapsed. As you can imagine, potting mix isn't the greatest substance to make an underground nest in. We think that they hadn't begun sitting and were still building so I hope that there wasn't any collateral damage. We'll keep our eyes out for further nesting sites and maybe will get some good pix eventually.

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What a pity.

 

Maybe you can knock up a next box for them. I have the design for one if your interested.

 

As well as constructing burrows they do nest in the hollows of trees.

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Guest John Milbank

How sad, twaff. That's the kind of accident I worried about when I realised I must have been standing on or near their burrow.

 

A nest box is a great idea.

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Geoff, I would love your nest design. Can I PM you with my email address?

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How sad, twaff. That's the kind of accident I worried about when I realised I must have been standing on or near their burrow.

 

A nest box is a great idea.

 

 

If the birds were still building the nest at least you wouldn't have caused it to cave in on them.

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Guest John Milbank
If the birds were still building the nest at least you wouldn't have caused it to cave in on them.

 

Digressing further...that reminds me of something we were told during our wombat conservation assignment a couple of weeks ago. As you know, wombats are powerful diggers and make large networks of tunnels. But for some reason, they are unable to dig themselves out if a tunnel is blocked. So when farmers whose land is 'damaged' by wombats drive heavy machinery over the networks to collapse and block the tunnels, the animals are buried alive.

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Attractive little guys. I hope they appreciate all you are doing for them with your bird baths and bird houses.

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If the birds were still building the nest at least you wouldn't have caused it to cave in on them.

 

Digressing further...that reminds me of something we were told during our wombat conservation assignment a couple of weeks ago. As you know, wombats are powerful diggers and make large networks of tunnels. But for some reason, they are unable to dig themselves out if a tunnel is blocked. So when farmers whose land is 'damaged' by wombats drive heavy machinery over the networks to collapse and block the tunnels, the animals are buried alive.

 

 

That is a horrible way to kill any animal … being claustrophobic myself it is one of my worst nightmares! And we criticize villages who poison predators who kill their livestock!!

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Geoff, I would love your nest design. Can I PM you with my email address?

 

Sure.

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