White-browed Scrubwren nesting high

To: "Birding Aus" <>, "Carol Probets" <>
Subject: White-browed Scrubwren nesting high
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 18:58:58 +1000
Hi Carol

Every year White-browed Scrubwrens start building in hanging baskets or
pot-plants on our verandah, the floor of which is about 2.5m from the
ground, with this year's attempted nest-building another 1.5m above that.

They never see it through, presumably due in part to the interruption from
our daily to-ing and fro-ing right alongside their building site, but always
end up nesting lower down, alongside or under the house.

Still, they give it a go up there every year, and given that they're up
poking around on the verandahs most days, I suspect that they would carry it
through if we could only stay indoors, which of course we can't.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

Visit our website at

ph: (+61) 7 4697 6111

-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Carol Probets
Sent: Thursday, 2 September 2004 12:55 PM
Subject: White-browed Scrubwren nesting high

Thanks to those who replied to my posting last week regarding
White-browed Scrubwrens nest-building 2.5 metres high in my jasmine.
 From the replies I received it seems that this species occasionally
has a tendency to nest above ground level in sheds or garages:

-Dean Portelli told me about a nest he found a couple of years ago in
Gippsland Victoria about a metre off the ground amongst some folded
material in a garage. This year he has been told the birds are again
nesting in the garage, probably much higher in the eaves of a caravan.

-Vicki Powys told me of a nest she had once seen built in a piece of
rolled up carpet that was hanging from the rafters of an old locked
toolshed, perhaps 2m above the ground. There was no obvious way the
birds could get into and out of the shed and Vicki thinks they might
have been getting through a hole in the floorboards somewhere.

-Syd Curtis told me of one which nested in his mother's tool shed on
Tamborine Mt, S. Qld, about a metre off the ground.

Unlike these examples, 'my' scrubwrens are nesting in vegetation,
which is incidentally underneath the eaves of the house.

Since my previous message I watched the female spend almost the whole
of the 28th and 29th and the morning of the 30th continuing to build
at a frantic pace. During this time she brought progressively finer
material - on the 28th it was mostly leaves, leaf skeletons and moss;
on the 29th grass and other "strippy" material; and on the 30th fine
material like tree fern fibre. She then stopped about mid-morning
when it started raining, and I observed no further activity until
4.30pm on the 31st, when she started bringing beakfuls of very fine
fibrous material, I'm not sure whether this was fur or plant fibre.

I have seen no further activity at the nest since then, and I am
hoping this is because the nest is complete. If that's the case it
means that building was completed in little more than two intensive
days of work.

Unfortunately I won't be able to tell if and when eggs appear as the
nest itself is inaccessible without causing major disturbance. I
can't help wondering if the female is already sitting as I have only
seen the male around today. Time will tell.


Carol Probets
Katoomba, Blue Mountains NSW

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