Superb Blue Wrens - nocturnal hunting?

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Superb Blue Wrens - nocturnal hunting?
From: "Wendy" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 22:36:22 +1000
Hi All,
A friend has asked me about this experience. Does anyone have any ideas and 

Wendy Moore

Location is Riddells Creek, near Mt Macedon, NW of Melbourne, Vic.

"There’s also been a Fairy Wren flying into the windows at night over the last 
few nights – seemingly after insects. I’ve never seen or heard of this 
behaviour before.
Fairy Wren:
On Sunday night I was at a meeting about frogs and came home to Gill saying 
there’s a bird flying into the lounge window. I put on the outside light and 
saw three Fairy Wrens (one male, two female) sitting in and around the lemon 
tree – this is a vantage point from which they could see the window. From then 
I only heard one fly into the window. I guessed that maybe one was young and 
just out of the nest and ‘confused’. However, last night (after another meeting 
– flora reserve committee this time) I came home to lots of insect activity 
with many moths and other insects on the window of my study where I was doing 
things on the computer (and photographing the moths and spiders etc). Only once 
did the bird fly into the window while I was there but I was lucky enough to 
see it go for a large Moth  – which was either too big for the bird or it 
missed catching it. It did actually peck the moth’s abdomen though (the moth 
was flapping wings – an activity it does when threatened). The large moth was 
certainly its intended. I did hear what I think was the bird flying into the 
window later on (it could have been a Goat Moth as they are pretty hefty and 
make a decent bang into windows.

My initial thought on Sunday was the bird was flying into the window with no 
purpose – but now, knowing they probably aren’t too window savvy, I think they 
were after insects and possibly flying at or through the unseen window to get 

To your specific questions:
There were no bright outside lights on (except on Sunday when I was looking for 
them – I turned them off when I saw who it was). The only lights on were 
internal (with curtains open).

The time was about 9-10pm so after dark.

The large Moth was on the sill but the bird didn’t land as such, more a fly-in 
and straight out routine (more of a hover – but obviously not a real hover – 
wings were flapping throughout. It did hit the window slightly but not hard 
this time. Other times it has hit quite hard – but it/they seem to come back a 
few times so they were probably not hurt by the collision.

 We too often get birds flying into windows, with some deaths (not for a while 
thank goodness).

We also often get Tawny Frogmouths flying into the windows for moths in 
spring-summer. They’re great to watch. We once had visitors from overseas and 
went outside to watch them. At one point they flew for a moth and actually 
brushed our visitor’s trousers on the way to its prey!

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