The email about starlings reminded me that we have on many occasions over
the past 8 years, observed Spangled Drongos also feeding in the flowers of
Silky Oaks (G. robusta) at Pomona on Qld's Sunshine Coast, and on another
occasion, they were joined in the same tree by 2 Pied Butcherbirds,
undoubtedly feeding on the blossoms.
Until recently I was a Wildlife carer (of orphaned native birds). One
season I had a young magpie, a noisy friarbird and a black-faced cuckoo
shrike, and a figbird. In an attempt to rehabilitate the figbird and
cuckoo shrike, we tried to introduce them to natural food by putting in
various fruit-bearing bushes in our garden e.g. Midyim (Austromyrtus
dulcis) and Prickly Alyxia (Alyxia ruscifolia). The other birds, not to be
outdone, used to come in for their share, with the result that we had all 4
of them hopping about on the ground picking fruit from these bushes.
My question is: I recently observed that one of the two magpies (who refuse
to leave) seems to have a problem with one eye - on close observation, it
if there is a bluish film IN his pupil (not on the surface). We wonder if
this could mean he has had it injured (in one of his many territorial
tussles with the resident male of this area) and could be the start of his
going blind. Does anyone know what this could indicate? If it is
approaching blindness, what are his chances in the "real world" as far as
navigation goes? (We are located in a fairly forested area, so many of his
"territorials" involve ducking and weaving between the blackbutts).
> From: Ian Temby <>
> Subject: Re: starlings' feeding behaviour
> Date: Wednesday, 1 April 1998 8:54
> Dear John
> Interesting observation. I have not seen this behaviour, but I have seen
> starlings feeding on the flowers of Grevillea robusta (Silky Oak) on a
> number of occasions. I believe they were feeding on nectar, rather than
> insects attracted to the flowers, after close observation.