Not just “Little Wattlebirds” (Anthochaera chrysoptera) but teeny-tiny “Little Wattlebirds” are living in my backyard. For a while now I’ve noticed a pair of Little Wattlebirds hanging around a particular area of the backyard. Unfortunately my dog Shelby often chases and barks at them when they fly low over the clothesline area. I assumed there was a nest somewhere but couldn’t spot it in any of the nearby trees and tall shrubs where there have been previous birds’ nests.
Today I noticed one of the wattlebirds fly into the overgrown Orange Jessamine hedge that surrounds my clothesline area. The bird entered from one side of the hedge and disappeared from view. Even though I could no longer see it I could follow its progress through the hedge to the other side as the leaves closest to the bird shook slightly as it moved across. A closer inspection, after the bird flew away again, revealed a nest on the outer side of the hedge, and very close to my back verandah (from where Shelby surveys his backyard territory, and where he sleeps at night — sometimes waking to bark at ‘things’ that move and make noise in the wee hours).
I wasn’t quite tall enough to see inside the nest so I carefully parted the branches so I could hold my camera up over the nest to take a couple of photos. The first out-of-focus photos revealed two baby birds in the nest. 😀 I didn’t want to disturb the birds too much so a waited a couple of hours before going outside again with a stepladder so I could take some better photos. The two parents were never very far away and mum or dad wattlebird checked on the babies as soon as I moved away from the nest. I managed to also photograph one of the adults, though I’m not sure if it was the male or the female as the sexes are similar and both parents care for their chicks.
To find out more about this bird go to the Little Wattlebirds page on the Birds in Backyards website. There’s a sound file there of its ‘delightful’ call also — no wonder Shelby barks at them, lol.
Looks like hedge trimming will have to wait a while.
Update — November 18th (5 days later)
I poked the camera into the hedge to see what was happening with the baby birdies and found one of them perched on the edge of the nest, with its sibling underneath it inside the nest.
(Click images to enlarge)
Update — November 28th
Both babies have been flying around for a few days now. They take refuge in the taller Lilly Pilly hedge on the other side of the clothesline area and can be heard ‘cheeping’/calling to their parents, who are never very far away, to be fed. Today was a very windy and rainy day but I managed to get a couple of photos anyway of one of the babies sheltering inside the hedge and then on a tree branch higher up after it flew out. Unfortunately my last two photos are out of focus (well, the leaves in the background look great but the bird is fuzzy).
Note: The Little Wattlebird is a different species and is smaller than the Red Wattlebird which I mentioned in my blog “Beltane Bird Revisited“. I’m pretty certain these two babies are Little Wattlebirds and not baby Koels as the Red Wattlebird is one of the preferred hosts for the Koel. The Koel is a type of cuckoo that lays one egg in another bird’s nest so that when the baby Koel grows it kicks out the host bird’s own babies and continues to be raised by the host bird who is too stupid to realise this giant baby that’s twice the adult host bird’s size is not its own offspring — see photos here of a Red Wattlebird feeding a huge baby Koel. 😀