Birding at church

Subject: Birding at church
From: Timothy Dickson <>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 11:56:41 +1000 (EST)
Hi all, 
Thought I'd share a couple of bird related anecdotes that 
have occurred over the years at my local church (Holy Trinity 
in Mundingburra, Townsville). 

I was brought up as a good Catholic and still go to mass 
regularly, more to please my parents than anything...anyhow. 
I've compiled a bird list for the church of the top of my 
head including species seen by me either in or on the church:
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Rock Dove
Barking Owl
Forest Kingfisher
Blue-faced Honeyeater
White-gaped Honeyeater
Magpie Lark
White-breasted Woodswallow
Australian Magpie
House Sparrow
Common Myna
At least two of these species breed in the church: House 
Sparrows in cavities on the exterior (dead chicks are often 
found on the ground below) and Rock Doves. Last year a pair 
of Rock Doves nested inside the church in a cavity behind a 
wooden panel which holds the stations of the cross. For some 
reason the church must have decided that birds creating new 
life behind a picture of Christ being crucified wasn't 
appropriate and the high louvres through which they came have 
since been screened. They still hang around the church though 
& are probably nesting somewhere on the outside. 
Three species have become trapped inside the church - White-
gaped Honeyeater, Forest Kingfisher & Magpie Lark. After they 
get in they always end up trying to get out through the large 
windows at the back of the church. I've open the windows I 
can reach when this happens and presumably the eventually get 
out. Common Mynas have ventured inside before, and just last 
week at another church one was wandering around the sparsely 
peopled church during mass. 
The Barking Owl I only saw once at night, when it was perched 
on the rather lofty steeple. Ian Montgomery posted a message 
about Barking Owls on this very steeple a couple of years 
back (although you got the name of the church wrong Ian :)) 
The message is here:

The Ibis often perch on the pointed roof as have woodswallows 
& magpies on the odd occasion. Blue-faced Honeyeaters 
sometimes acrobatically search the nocks & crannies around 
the church for insects. 

Tim Dickson 
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