Fairy wrens & pineapples

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Fairy wrens & pineapples
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 14:54:31 +1000
What's an everyday occurence to some, is not necessarily so to others, and
for this reason I write of an everyday situation near my home.

I live on rural residential acreage at the foot of one of the Glasshouse
Mountains in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, 70km north of Brisbane,
Qld. Pineapple plantations are common in our area. Pineapples plants grow
densely together up to a metre high.

Variegated and Red-backed Fairy-wrens commonly spend their days working the
pineapple plants. They dart out from the nearby bushland. In the case of my
local setting, the bush grows nearby in watercourses from the mountain, and
is dominated by Tristania suaveolens (swamp box), Melaleuca quinquinervia
(coastal ti-tree I think), Banksia integrifolia (?) and Banksia spinulosa
var. collina (sorry don't know the common names). Family groups venture
together into the pineapples, working through the insects attracted to the
crop. This activity carries on throughout the day, all year. I can't think
of a daylight time when I have walked past the local pineapples and not
seen fairy-wrens at work. As dusk approaches, I see the wrens withdrawing
to the adjacent bushland. (Therefore I have no reason to believe that they
nest in the pineapples.)

I would imagine that, because of the pineapples, the area supports a
greater density of fairy-wrens than would otherwise be the case.

Jill Dening

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