Moulting Superb Blue Wren; Shrike-tits

Subject: Moulting Superb Blue Wren; Shrike-tits
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 17:12:24 +1100
Refreshed by cool change and overnight rain I walked round Wilson
Reserve in Ivanhoe (Melbourne) this afternoon. One sign of summer's end
approaching - a male Superb Blue Wren starting to moult, with brown
feathers working their way into his blue cap and moustaches. Most of his
black bib was gone too.
After the rain small insectivorous birds were everywhere - Grey
Fantails, Willy Wagtails, White-browed Scrubwrens, Brown Thornbills,
Yellow Robins. Even a family party of Crested Shriketits - at least two
young begging with a noisy grating and rasping sound from both parents.
As soon as old birds found anything edible, a young one was there to
take it. The old birds were hunting at all levels from Red Gum tops down
almost to the ground, but chiefly in foliage of Silver Wattles. Also
breaking away peeling bark from gums. The old birds hardly had time to
call, both the 'Knock-at-the-door!' and 'Whooey, whooey' calls seemed
very abbreviated this time.
Anthea Fleming

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