birding-aus Blue-faced Honeyeater - cooperative breeding in Cohuna????

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Subject: birding-aus Blue-faced Honeyeater - cooperative breeding in Cohuna????
From: "Lawrence E. Conole" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 18:07:19 +1100
I found a nest beside the memorial in the park opposite the shops in
Cohuna (Victorian Riverina, between Echuca and Kerang, 35`48'03"S
144`13'39"E) on 10/11/1999.  Many texts say that BFHEs rarely build
their own nest, but this was a typical HE nest.  Unless they're known to
appropriate old friarbird or miner nests, I'd have to conclude they made
this one themselves.  Birds were flying into house yards over behind the
shops, as well as foraging in the park, to feed the young.

Another interesting possibility is that of cooperative breeding.  On
14/11/1999 in the evening, I watched three different adult birds come
and at least look into the nest if not actually feed the nestlings.  As
a lot of birds have re-nested since the rain, I guess one of the birds
could have been a youngster from earlier in the season and just a bit
curious???  All three looked completely adult (blue facial skin etc.).

I can find no reference suggesting that BFHEs indulge in cooperative
breeding, but their general lifestyle is one of a loose group of 8-10
birds, so I guess the possibility is there.

Any similar observations out there?

Cheers -- Lawrie

3 Gezireh Street, Pascoe Vale South
Victoria 3044 AUSTRALIA.  37°44'27"S  144°56'17"E
Phone (03) 9354 2484; Mobile (0419) 588 993
E-mail: <>
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