Tue, 16 Dec 1997 12:34:56 +1000
Last week I spent an hour or two birding at a local wetland reserve
(Banyule Wetlands, near Heidelberg, north-east of Melbourne), looking for
Cisticola nests. It is an area I cycle past on my way to work. In the
past I have seen spoonbills on only two or three occasions. Last Friday, I
saw two spoonbills standing by the water's edge, facing each other, about a
metre apart. I was surprised to see that this "pair" of spoonbills was one
Yellow-billed Spoonbill and one Royal Spoonbill.
The same "pair" was busy feeding in the shallows at 0615 today. It would
be interesting to see whether they remain paired and attempt to breed.
This observation reminds me of a Sooty Oystercatcher/Pied Oystercatcher
pair that used to nest each year on Mud Islands in Port Phillip Bay during
the early eighties.
My only record of a Crimson Rosella at a former home was of one travelling
with a male Eastern Rosella.
This makes for efficient birding if one is ticking lists, but is
interesting for other reasons. Do these birds breed? Do they produce
young? Are the young able to breed? In some cases, observation has shown
the answers to be yes. Perhaps more interesting, is how these birds form a
pair in the first place.
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