birding-aus Back yard birds

Subject: birding-aus Back yard birds
From: Laurence and Leanne Knight <>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 18:52:27 +1000
While I was at my parents' place on the Blackall Range [back of Nambour]
on the weekend, I spent a bit of time watching the birds feeding in
their backyard [they have a variety of trees and a bird feeder.  Knowing
the local avian dynamics, I spread a mixture of birdseed on the ground
around the feeder as well as placing a measure in the feeder [an empty

The resident firetail circus were the first to arrive on the scene, but
a currawong soon took centre stage.  It got stuck into the smaller seeds
and kept a magpie off the feeder [interesting to see that the local
crows, currawongs and maggies have all proved partial to birdseed].  The
currawong was on the feeder for about 5 minutes before a pair of rainbow
lorikeets came along and bluffed it off the feeder.  

The rainbows then proceeded to monopolise the feeder, although the
firetails kept swarming onto the feeder from an adjacent shrub [and
being shooed off by the lorikeets].

A family of pale-headed rosellas arrived, hopped about in the shrub but
clearly knew they couldn't displace the rainbows, and so settled on the
ground to feed on the seed there.  A pair of crimson rosellas briefly
called in as well, but didn't stay.

A family of four king parrots [two subadult males] also arrived [via the
banana tree].  They hung around in the background for a bit before
taking their place on the ground.

The parrots were kept company by a crested pigeon, a bar shouldered
dove, a wonga pigeon [who walked up from the gully] and a family of 4
white-headed pigeons who transited the area.

A couple of female satin bowerbirds spent a bit of time in the shrub,
but took little part in the proceedings [up to half a dozen can turn up
when things are quite] while a male lurked in the background.  My mother
told me the bowerbirds were partial to rotting lemons and ripening

A tribe of figbirds ignored the feeder [definitely not seedeaters]
preferring instead to eat half-ripe mulberries.  The swamphens didn't
put in an appearance [there being no half-ripe bananas or pineapples etc
to tempt them], but a pair of hares chased one-another around the place.

This brings me to the point of the extent to which Australian native
birds have adapted human settlements.

There are clearly many species that are now comfortably co-existing with
humans in suburban areas - indeed some - such as magpies - have
benefitted from human settlement.

It might be interesting for people to list the birds which have adapted
to human settlement in their area.

Species which have done so around Brisbane would include
rainbow lorikeets
scaly-breasted lorikeets
pale-headed rosellas
fig birds
crested pigeons
noisy friarbirds
noisy miners
blue-faced honeyeaters
black-faced cuckoo-shrikes
pheasant coucals
welcome swallows
willie wagtails
laughing kookaburras
pied and grey butcherbirds
torresian crows
striated pardolotes
redbacked and variagated fairy wrens
silver gulls
sacred ibis
pacific black ducks
maned ducks
dusky moorhens
masked lapwings
bush turkeys
brahminy kites etc

It is also interesting to note that some species which are reportedly
declining in Vic/NSW - eg silver crowned babblers, apostlebirds etc are
still common in settled areas in other states.

Perhaps in the case of some species, such as parrots and cockatoos, the
food may be abundant, but nesting hollows becomming scarce [eg carnabys
cockatoos seem to find plenty to eat around Perth, but nesting hollows
are disappearing].

It would be interesting if people would care to comment on which species
are doing well in their area and which species are declining, and
possibly the local factors that may be driving the trend ...

Regards, Laurie.
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