Water Hen Goes Nutty!

To: "'birding aus'" <>
Subject: Water Hen Goes Nutty!
From: "Andrew Thelander" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 19:19:10 +1000
That's the title of a filler article in the latest newsletter of the
Australian Macadamia Society.  The article suggests that a "water hen" made
a nest, filled it with dehusked macadamia nuts and attempted to incubate
them.  There are 2 accompanying photographs.  The first shows what appears
to me to be a Purple Swamphen walking across mown/slashed grass.  The second
shows the nest - a circular depression in short grass holding 11 dehusked
macadamia nuts.  To me, the nest does not resemble a classic Swamphen nest
in that it appears to be in the open (possibly under macadamia trees) and is
not the "substantial nest bowl" described by Morcombe for example.  I have
not spoken to the contributor and do not wish to doubt his account which I
believe is geniune.  More information is needed to unravel this intriguing

Has anyone seen or heard of any similar behaviour at all?  I am sure there
must be accounts of birds attempting to incubate egg-shaped objects?




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