Crested Shrike-tits

To: <>
Subject: Crested Shrike-tits
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2005 14:03:31 +1100
Crested Shrike-tits might be in decline around the local woodlands.  I am not proposing any serious pooling of information on them, but the following is my recent experience.
Presence is usually easily detectable by the call.  With a reasonable view, males and females are easily distinguishable (black v olive bib).  (Marnix does not say which his 'bird' was.)  The nests are usually in slender topmost twigs and are notoriously difficult to observe.  However when the female is building it is closely trailed by the male, and a nest site can often be found at such times.  In recent years there have been successful nestings in Campbell Park and Callum Brae.  However last season in Campbell Park 2 separate nestings (located respectively by Steve Holliday and Elizabeth Compston) were both abortive - possibly predated when with small young.  I am not aware of any nesting activity there at the moment.
A reliable spot for them is the Newline paddock where a pair can always be found if enough time is spent there.  I suspect that they at least try to nest there each year, but although the fledged young are usually easy to pick up I have never seen young there.   (The paddock is also regularly worked by kookaburras, goshawks and ravens.)  I saw the pair of CSTs there yesterday, possibly gathering food for young.
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