Mudlark won't eat worms

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Mudlark won't eat worms
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 08:56:27 +1000
Sunshine Coast, Queenland

For some weeks my husband, James, and I have been the subject of much
attention by a female mudlark. We have had a pair of mudlarks in the garden
for as long as we have been here, but recently the female has taken to what
amounts to some kind of training of us. At first we noticed that she seemed
quite bold, coming close as we pottered about the garden. We don't
encourage birds to interact with us, but in this case we didn't drive her
away, either.

Nowadays the lawn seems to need mowing every one and a half to two weeks.
As we scoot about on the ride-on mower, we notice that she is almost
kamikaze in her boldness as the mower bears down on her. Last week I was
circumnavigating the house on the mower, and each time I would come around
to where she was grubbing for food, she would stop her activity, stand and
face me, and call loudly, even belligerently. This bird was trying to tell
me something, or trying to get me to do something. This happened at least a
dozen times.

Today as we dug holes and planted trees, she followed us around, haranguing
us as usual. I came upon a worm, and threw it to her. She ran to it, picked
it up, and tossed it aside, and shouted at me (only a couple of metres away
from me - there was no one else she was talking to), and I got the feeling
that the worm wasn't acceptable. I found another worm, and tossed it to
her, just to check. Same again, tho this time she didn't scream at me. God
she must have thought I was dumb.

Then I came across an almost-formed beetle in the soil. I threw it to her,
she ran and examined it, and in a flash flew off with it in her beak to
where they nested last year - we think there might be another nest now. I
felt a surge of happiness that I was at last a success in her eyes.

We find we have become quite seduced by this game little bird.

Jill Dening

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Mudlark won't eat worms, Jill Dening <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU