Re: eucy flowering and nectarivorous birds

Subject: Re: eucy flowering and nectarivorous birds
From: Chris Tzaros <>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 09:11:57 +1100
David and others,

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to stop at the Eaglehawk flowering patch
and so I only heard the Muskies and Purple-crowns as I drove by.  There
were hundreds of Muskies that I could hear even with the windows up!  I can
only assume that there were honeyeaters and wattlebirds there but I can't
say for sure.  I might ask somebody local to check it out.

I am unable to say whether this flowering patch is an isolated event or
whether there are others throughout the Victorian Goldfields (maybe some
b-aussers could help us out by reporting any patches of eucy flowering they
see from now and throughout the winter).  I cast my mind back a few years
and can think of an autumn/winter where there were just a handful of large
patches of ironbark-box flowering right throughout the Victorian
Goldfields.  These were used extensively by Swift Parrots (they were at
each flowering patch) and honeyeaters, lorikeets and wattlebirds were also
drawn like magnets to these patches.  Elsewhere, the forests were generally
void of nectarivores.

I'm going to stick my neck out here and make a prediction that, despite the
continuing dry conditions, the Victorian Goldfields will produce some
flowering patches this autumn/winter, though I think it will replicate the
situation described above and be localised to just a few areas.  Nothing
like a bit of wishful thinking eh David.  I just don't want to drive 10
hours to see a Regent Honeyeater this winter!


At 10:16 AM 2/10/03 +1100, you wrote:
>Well, perhaps the bulk of the Swifties won't head as far north as the NSW 
>Central Coast after all.  The presence of lorikeets suggests that there 
>may be nectar in this blossom despite the dry.  I wonder, however, about 
>the honeyeaters.  Could it be that the blossom is dry and the lorikeets 
>are harvesting pollen?  I don't want to be pessimistic but if there was 
>nectar I would expect at least the local honeyeaters to be enjoying this 
>bonanza.  I only assume they weren't there because you don't mention them.
>Is this an isolated flowering patch or is it likely that flowering might 
>be widespread through the Victorian Goldfields this winter?
>Euc flowering patterns are a nightmare for those trying to predict them.
>David Geering
>Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
>NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
>P.O. Box 2111
>Dubbo  NSW  2830
>Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
>Fax: 02 6884 9382
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Chris Tzaros
Research and Conservation Officer
Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union) 
National Office
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