Scrubwren update - vocalisations at the nest

Subject: Scrubwren update - vocalisations at the nest
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 00:37:32 +1000
At the beginning of this month I wrote about the White-browed Scrubwrens building a nest in the jasmine on the wall of my house. When I wrote the last message on 2nd Sept, nest-building activity seemed to have finished and I wondered if incubation had begun. (Although the nest itself is too well concealed to see I am able to observe the birds closely through the window as they approach and leave, without them being aware of me.)

Just after I sent that message I saw the female carry a beakful of feathers into the nest, and although I waited a few minutes I didn't see her come out again. Half an hour later at 4.55pm, the male arrived and moved up close to the nest, giving a soft trilling call. Eventually the female came out and both birds went off into the garden. Twenty minutes later the female arrived with another load of feathers which she took into the nest.

On the 5th and again on the 6th I happened to be nearby when I heard a soft chattering coming from the nest, which was answered by another bird in the shrubs nearby. I then saw the female come out of the nest.

Since then the birds have been extremely inconspicuous and on most days that I've been home I haven't seen or heard a thing from them. They haven't even been foraging in my garden as they usually do. Then yesterday, just before dark, I saw the two birds approach the nest. One went into the nest (presumably the female) and the other gave the soft trilling call before flying away.

It's amazing how good these birds are at being invisible while incubating, considering this nest is only about 3 metres from my front door!

By my calculations the eggs would be due to hatch any day now. I'll keep you posted.



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains NSW

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