Nests of currawongs & crows

To: <>
Subject: Nests of currawongs & crows
From: "Tim Low" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 11:44:15 +1000
I am watching a pair of currawongs nesting in my backyard in Brisbane. The
first stick was placed on 14 August, in exactly the same place - two
parallel limbs in a spotted gum - where nesting occurred last year. I
watched them copulate on 24 August, although they were imediately interupted
by an attack from a noisy miner. Nest materials are only added in the
mornings, mainly between 7 and 9 am, evidently only by the female. I can see
the nest merely my looking up from the computer screen where I work all day,
so I have amassed a lot of data. There is enormous variation in how much
work is done each day, with almost nothing added to the nest on some days.

There is also a crow's nest in a eucalypt over the road. Incubation began on
the morning of 27 August. Crows in this tree were parasitized last year by a
channel-billed cuckoo, which would turn up calling loudly at night. Last
December I saw it by spotlight visit the nest at about 9 pm. The crows were
calling in a very agitated way and they abandoned that clutch. There are no
cuckoos about yet.

If anyone else has a pied currawong or Torresian crow nest under observation
I would be interested in hearing from you.

I will be placing plastic sheeting under the currawong nest to collect the
feeding pellets produced. Last year they were mainly full of insect remains,
especially scarab beetles, although I was able to germinate scores of fig
seedlings from them. I saw no evidence of bird predation. I saw one
vertebrate killed, a water skink, though not much of it was eaten.

Tim Low

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