Fw: birding-aus Nestsite selection behaviour in Willie-Wagtails?

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Fw: birding-aus Nestsite selection behaviour in Willie-Wagtails?
From: "Gloria Glass" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 10:46:41 +1000
From: Chris Hudson <>
>The Willie Wagtails .... one of the birds (possibly the female) then
>fluffed up its breast feathers and proceeded to move along various
>branches "squatting" every so often for no more than about 1-2 seconds
>at each point before moving on.  All up, in the couple of minutes that I
>saw this behaviour, I estimated that about 50-60 different spots were
>tested including the top links of a chainlink fence!
>Am I correct in believing that the bird was checking each spot as a
>possible nest site?  Has anyone seen similar behaviour in Willie
>Wagtails or other birds.

The Willie WTs here behave somewhat similarly when they are feeding young.
They fluff out their belly feathers and run along the ground (or even the
concrete patio!). I have always thought they were trying to flush insects,
though I haven't seen them catch many at these times. However, when birding
elsewhere I have taken this behaviour as indicating that young are not far
away and have sometimes been able to find them.

Gloria Glass
nr Toowoomba Qld

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