breeding Sunbirds, constant failures

Subject: breeding Sunbirds, constant failures
From: Kirrama Wildlife Tours <>
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 18:04:35 +1000
Hi everyone,
It's bugging me now for a while, and maybe someone knows an answer. It's in
regards to Yellow- bellied Sunbirds.
In coastal North Queensland these birds are quite common and like to hang
around buildings and humans. They sit on mirrors and talk to themselves
(males and females do it), and they frequently nest close or in buildings. 
For 3 years now we have a pair building nests in the (open) garage, on our
balcony and in trees close to the walls. Not once did they successfully
raise young. They build, lay, sit, and the chicks hatch, and within 2 days
the chicks are gone. Every year that happened, and I tried to eliminate all
possible dangers. We pushed the cars out of the garage (no fumes!), we
snake-proofed the nest sites, and all without success.  The young kept on
Last year I was finally home long enough and at the right time to watch it
all. The first chick hatched, and then the second within 24 hours. And
shortly afterwards I saw the female coming to the nest and taking out a
dead one and flying off with it. The second chick didn't last much longer.
It seems they don't feed them at all. 
In the 3 year they tried every year 2 to 3 times to breed, always building
a new nest. 
Why isn't it working? Has anyone got any idea?
Have a great week, Klaus

Kirrama Wildlife Tours   Klaus & Brenda Uhlenhut
PO Box 133   SILKWOOD  QLD   Australia

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