Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Australia, even the birds ain't shy

Michele: It is spring here in Australia and that means nesting time. Over the past few weeks, birds' nests have been showing up the darnedest places. The Sunbird nest pictured here is in the carport at Uncle Larry's house. He has some netting to keep birds from roosting over the car and the Subirds have used the netting to hang their incredible nest. The nest is like a pouch with a hole in the side. This photo doesn't show it but there is even a little 'awning' over the hole. The nest at Uncle Larry's house is at eye level just feet from his front door, a pretty active place, but the Sun Bird doesn't mind. Yesterday, I saw a Sunbird nest hanging from a store awning in downtown Mission Beach. People probably walk right by the nest all day long yet the birds don't mind.

The Sunbird family includes the species Spiderhunters, which might be my favorite bird name. Not that I don't like spiders, I really do. Just when I hear Spiderhunter, I imagine a bird in a camouflage outfit stealth-fully stalking a spider. Rumor is that Spiderhunters can eat tarantulas -- gutsy birds

I like this photo because I caught the Sunbird in the nest. If you go right up the nest, the bird takes off but they come back to the nest after a bit. This nest is just about done and ready for eggs. We've been able to watch the building of the nest over the past few week when we've visited uncle Larry. It is really cool to see how they start with anchoring the nest to the webbing and then build the pouch. Impressive engineering when you consider that the whole structure is also swaying in the breeze the whole time.

Birds nests in Amherst are also impressive but the birds are much much more shy about their nest building. Nests are usually up high and hard to see. These crazy Australian Sunbirds are quite the exhibitionists!

1 comment: