Birds and spiders

Subject: Birds and spiders
From: Una Stephenson <>
Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 19:21:59 +1100
Two Large-billed Gerygones [pronounced Wee Brown Birrrds] have nested just
outside the glass door by the computer. It leads to long spells of staring
out of windows ...hard to get to work in time or to put lipstick on with
accuracy. They  make it clear that the back verandah is their territory and
even putting out the washing meets with disapproval.   And just round the
corner by the craft room window is an enormous 3-dimensional multi-occupied
spiders' web.  Friar-birds sometimes fly in, cautiously, and snip a bill-ful
of spidersilk, no doubt for their nesting.

I was watching one morning however when in flew two Orioles, right into the
web,  - I wondered if they were after the spiders'egg cases. Almost
immediately they were stuck; one managed to flap free, but the other was
well bound up in silk. I hurriedly found my shoes and a long broom-handle,
but by the time I had arrived to attempt a rescue he/she had flapped enough
to fall slowly down through the web into the ferns below. 

"Meanwhile" a Metallic Starling, presumably more inquisitive than smart, had
flown in from  the same direction and was totally stuck, hanging
upside-down, wrapped in silk, wings bound to sides, and making no attempt to
struggle. A quick slash with the broom-handle broke enough web to free him,
without doing too much damage to the spiders' construction. He fell into the
ferns too and fluttered off but I wonder how he'd have fared without help.

Una Stephenson
Machan's Beach 

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