November 26th Saw an interesting behaviour
yesterday (25/11) involving Double-eyed Fig-parrots. In an almost leafless
Ficus leptoclada a female was making a churring noise rather like the
begging sound of a lorikeet but lower and much slower. A male
approached very closely and after a few short head movements proceeded to feed
her. He then preened himself and her. After half a minute of this they preened
mutually for about 20 seconds. He flew off and continued to feed himself while
she preened and occasionally made the same sound. I then heard a few times the
call typically made while they are flying but very softly. I was unsure as to
which bird was making the call. They left together in the usual direct noisy
The Fig-parrots have been collecting Eucalypt tips for a few weeks now so I
am curious about this interesting behaviour. Are they just a bit slow, did their
first attempt fail or does this kind of behavior continue after bonding and
breeding are established?
For anyone up this way and chasing these birds, the Yungaburra School has
fruiting figs with them feeding in the morning, evening and when classes are
inside. Also present are Superb Fruit-doves, Barred Cuckoo-shrikes, the odd
Channel-billed Cuckoo and other fructivores.
Today I observed Pacific Bazas on a nest at Tolga. The landholder tells me
they have nested in the same spot three years in a row. One bird had darker
feathers around the vent but I could not pick any difference in the throat
Mammals continue to show themselves in record numbers while I am out and
about at night except for Spectacled Flying fox. Coppery Brushtail Possums have
had an extended breeding season this year and there is still the odd randy male
around whereas last year all testes were shrunken by this time. Despite the few
showers of rain we have had frogs and reptiles are still lying low.
Yungaburra is full of Fig-parrots at the moment. The point of interest is
that I am not seeing any females feeding before about 8 am. By 9 am females are
more numerous than males.
Breeding activity seems to have increased in the last few days since we are
now getting storms. Riflebirds and Brush Turkeys have noticeably picked up their
effort along with frogs and reptiles.
Early this morning I observed about 20 Eel-tailed Catfish mouthing the top of
he water in our little creek. on closer examination I found one Black Bream and
numerous rainbow fish doing the same. Could the slight increase in flow from our
first storms have actually depleted the oxygen?
Have had reports of a Papuan Harrier just a little south of Malanda. One of
the local pairs of Spotted Harriers have been producing strange looking
offspring for some time. These birds go on to look like perfectly normal
Many White-rumped Swiftlets, about 100 Needle-tails, 20 Fork-tailed Swifts
and two strangers have been observed in the last few days hawking over the town.
Pacific Baza are on eggs.
Water and birds are returning to Hasties Swamp near Atherton with White
Browed Crakes showing well near the hide and Bush Hens on the paddock before the
Crane numbers seem to be down but are to be found in many paddocks either
side of the Barron River which is also sporting a Little Egret at the Jim
Chapman bridge (when I saw the sign go up a few years ago I thought he must have
died. Not only do Qld polies name things after their living mates they name them