Advanced Preparation

To: "Alan Gillanders" <>, "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Advanced Preparation
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 13:48:09 +1100
Hi all,

Alan Gillanders asked if anyone else had records of birds building their nest well in advance of laying eggs. The only example that springs to my mind is the Superb Lyrebird, who will sometimes build the "cradle" or stick platform (the foundation upon which the nest chamber is placed) a year or more in advance. This structure is like a large, sturdy bowl of interlaced sticks, thickly lined with moss and I have often come across these, without any further progress made, on rock ledges or other similar situations. Occasionally one will be completed and used in a subsequent year with the addition of the domed nest chamber.

This phenomenon is also mentioned in L.H. Smith's book "The Life of the Lyrebird" (1988), page 47.

Whether these incomplete structures are built primarily as advance preparation, or for practice, or simply due to the bird changing her mind about the nest's location, I don't know. Here in the Blue Mountains I generally find many more of of these "cradles" than complete nests.



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains, NSW

At 11:37 AM +1000 28/12/05, Alan Gillanders wrote:
Today my wife and I observe a Wompoo sitting on a nest with an egg, above the sign half way round the walk at the Curtain Figtree, Yungaburra. This nest was constructed in the days before Christmas 2004. Yes just over 12 months ago. A second pair was observed repairing a nest at the same time last year. This nest had been constructed in December 2003 and laid in in June 2004. It has since fallen down completely. I asked at the time, mid last year if others had records of such forward preparation by birds and do so again. What do you know of such behaviour?
Alan Gillanders

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