Mating of Brown-headed Honeyeaters

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Mating of Brown-headed Honeyeaters
From: Merrilyn Serong <>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 00:41:01 +1000
Hi All

Today I saw a pair of Brown-headed Honeyeaters mating.  Not having seen
this before I found it very interesting, so thought I'd share it with
anyone else who is interested.  I saw one of the birds first and as I
watched it, it flew and perched on a branch next to a second bird just a
few metres from where I stood.  Both birds were facing in the same
direction with their bodies held more or less horizontal, but with their
necks stretched and their heads and bills pointing upwards.  The second
bird, which was to the right of the first bird, briefly hopped onto the
back of the first bird and then down to its left side on the branch.  It
then went around to its original position on the branch to the right of
the first bird.  This was repeated several times with the first bird
remaining in its place with head continuously pointing up.  The second
bird also pointed its head up each time it perched next to the first.
Both birds quivered while next to each other.  After a minute or two of
hopping on and off the first bird's back, the second bird mounted the
first and they mated, then they both moved a bit on the branch, and I
might have been mistaken, but it looked as if they changed places and
the first bird was on top and they mated again and then flew off in the
same direction and out of sight.  Both were quiet throughout.
Spring is progressing!



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