Satin Bower-birds on Darebin Creek (Vic) - further information

Subject: Satin Bower-birds on Darebin Creek (Vic) - further information
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2013 15:17:42 +1100
In April 2013 my son purchased the large house 'Avalon' in Rowe St, Alphington. The huge neglected garden ran down to Darebin Creek and the cycle path. The former owners originally kept a mini-zoo there (I recall an Emu sometimes seen in the front garden), with Peafowl, and many aviaries of parrots and other birds. I do not know if they ever kept Satin Bowerbirds, but my son's family report that in early 2013 there was a bower full of blue plastic on the creek-flat under a tamarisk bush. Work on the neglected garden included much grass-cutting and weed removal, and the bower did not survive goats, a flood, and lawn-mowing, though there are still several productive plum, peach, apple and pear trees nearby, and much blackberry. SBBs are notorious fruit-stealers and I am told they also rely on cicadas, particularly as food for nestlings. This has been an excellent year for cicadas.

It seems quite possible that escaped or liberated SBBs could maintain themselves as a free breeding population, and be the source of birds recently seen in the area. There may well be more observations made if observers look out for them along the Yarra and the Creek. The bird I saw seemed to have a normal bill and no rings or bands on the legs.

Anthea Fleming

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