Re: birding-aus Nestsite selection behaviour in Willie-Wagtails

To: "Chris Hudson" <>, "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Nestsite selection behaviour in Willie-Wagtails
From: Barry McLean <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 00 23:32:20 +1100
Hi All

I was reminded by the email from Chris that over Xmas in Yea, Victoria, I 
noted two cases of Wagtail nesting behaviour which were unusual - to me 

Firstly, in a new shed constructed in about March 1999, was a Wagtail on 
a nest in one of the 'V's of a steel roof truss.  I'm not sure what it is 
called but it is a common truss construction with horizontal upper and 
lower bars with a zigzag metal bar welded between them.  The interesting 
thing to me was that there were 13 or so of these 'V's on this girder and 
the birds had started nest construction in eight others before they 
finally completed the one that they were using.  Most of the abandonned 
attempts had about 1 or 2 cm of 'nest' remaining but some had only a few 
strands of material. I have seen Wagtails pull one nest to pieces to 
provide material for the next and assume that that was probably done here 
but have no evidence to that effect.  I also think that (but did not 
thoroughly check) it was also the only girder out of the four in the shed 
that had any sign of nesting attempts.  The owner said that the pair were 
on their second brood for the season using that nest.


The second case was in a very old farm shed/garage and the pair there 
were using a nest about 15cm tall (and leaning a little) that was clearly 
a multi-story affair with each nest built in and on top of the one 
before.  At least three different nests were visible.  The owners of that 
shed said that 'they have been breeding there for years'.



         Barry McLean             
         PO Box 1540            
         Mildura Vic 3502

         Phone (03) 5023 1047


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