To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Finches
From: "Reg Clark" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 11:17:46 +1000
Hello Frank and others,

Hello Frank and all,
Yes , they certainly do feed on insects when available. At least I can only
speak for Redbrowed Finches . I see them every day feeding through
undergrowth and even quite tall trees, often in company with Silvereyes,
Brown Thornbills, Variegated Fairywrens and Whitebrowed Scrubwrens. They are
fascinating little creatures with their instantaneous reactions and what
appears to be a rather complex social structure which I can only infer from
the way  the flock assembles in a lantana bush and waits while the feeder is
investigated by a single bird who after a short interval is joined by two
others , then the flock will move in but will not be allowed to feed by what
seem to be two senior birds who vigorously drive them away. After the two
seniors have fed for a few minutes they relent and the others(which can be
from 4 to25 or 30 depending on the time of year ) then descend upon the
canary seed,. with the exception of at least one bird which remains in the
tree above.This sentry bird is being constantly changed so that there is
always at least one bird not feeding and in a position above the feeding
flock .
Yesterday afternoon there was great consternation when the flock arrived for
its late supper about 05.00 PM to find a young Brushtail Possum in
occupation . It was surprising to see the aggressive reactions of the
finches attacking the intruder who retaliated by flapping his ears  and went
on eating ------so much for David and Goliath!!.


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