strange nest any suggestions

Subject: strange nest any suggestions
From: Stuart Rae <>
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 10:06:22 +1000
This looks much more like a lyrebird's nest than a raptors. Is it a new nest or one which might have been there for more than a a year but only newly found? 

If the former, it is likely a lyrebirds as most of the sticks do not have freshly broken ends. Lyrebirds pick up sticks from the ground and these generally have old grey ends. Raptors break off sticks from trees for their nests and so they have fresh clean ends. There are also many leafy branches incorporated in the nest, like a lyrebirds but not a raptors. Lyrebirds can take months to build their nest, and often rob old ones to build new, or abandon building part way through. This could be an old nest which has been robbed or the beginnings of one. Lyrebirds begin construction with a broad base of branches and set a mossy, earthy filling at the centre. Only then do they build the dome. Four metres is not too high for a lyrebird but very low for a little eagle or whistling kite, and from the images, it looks like there are few better or lower possible nest sites, free from terrestrial predators. Although it is not too big to be a raven or a brown goshawk nest, the situation is wrong for both. Ravens build in high forks (as do most little eagles and kites), and brown goshawk nests are usually set in mistletoe clumps on high branches. Very few bird species build their nests close to the main trunk of a tree, probably due to a potentially high predation risk. Most are set out on the branches. Those which do tend to be large, such as wedge-tailed and white-bellied sea eagles. 

I suggest you keep an eye on it, lyrebirds are laying in the ACT area about now. The nest might yet get finished, or if it is an old one look for another in the vicinity which might be being used this year and would have a full dome structure.


Stuart Rae

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