Baby Wattle Bird

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Miledha's picture
Baby Wattle Bird

Here's a cute picture someone might like to see. Some enterprising Little Wattle Birds decided to nest in a hanging basket of bromeliads, under our shade cloth area. The place they chose was covered from the rain and too populated by humans for predator birds to seek out. The mother dutifully built the nest and we moved our rubbish and recycling bins away, so as not to disturb her.

Then she sat on the nest for just over 2 weeks. We realised something had changed when the male bird showed up and they both began feeding something in the nest. I was a little concerned because we never heard any sound from the nestling. So today, after the parents had been gone for some time, I lifted my camera above the nest and snapped a shot, to see what was inside. Sure enough, they had one, rather large baby.

Shortly after, the parents came back and started feeding it again, none the wiser about the photo. The baby still is not making any noise. I expect this is because it has no siblings and doesn't have to beg for the food. Now that we know someone is in the nest, there will be no more photos or attempts to look, until he is old enough to leave the nest.

HelloBirdy's picture

Congratulations. A great experience to be able to witness a breeding event from home

Aiming for DSLR-quality shots with a bridge camera


Great story and picture ... those wattlebirds have picked the most protective and considerate human owners of their nest location!

Well done protecting and not disturbing the nest.

laza's picture

What a great story and shot

Thanks for sharing

Dont take life too seriously, it never ends well

Dmenace's picture

What a gift.  Wondeful shot.

alcatraz's picture

Great stuff! Wonderful cameo of a story.

Woko's picture

I like your minimal disturbance approach, l2i3n9d5a6.

Your comment that human presence deterring predators is interesting. We've had Red Wattlebird nestings in the last 3 springs about 8 metres from our back door & about 3 - 5 metres high in a Dry Land Tea Tree Melalueca lanceolata. They seem unphased by our frequent comings & goings.

Two youngsters have been bred on each occasion. After the youngsters leave the nest they seem to become increasingly unthreatened when feeding - or waiting to be fed - in low shrubs even when I'm pottering about 1 metre away. No need whatsover for artificial feeding of this species in order to get up close views of the youngsters. Even the adults are becoming human-hardened, apparently content to feed in shrubs while Ms Woko & I are sipping on hot chocolate & toasted raisin bread a metre or two away.

Miledha's picture

Yes, ours are right in our outdoor living area. We go in and out the back door less than two metres from the nest, tend the veggie garden and hang the washing, right next door to them. Our outdoor lounge is there. We moved the bins because our heads would pass their nest only a few centimetres distant, as we put things in them. 

I'm learning to understand some of their sounds. If there is danger, it's a loud, raucous squawking. When the female returns to the nest, she sings the same two notes. She sang them to her eggs before they were hatched. The male is a bit more like an alarm clock, shouting at the nestling to hurry and eat the food he is bringing.

Our kitchen window looks straight out to the nest, about 3 metres away, so I can watch them from there, frequently throughout the day. The nestling started making chattering sounds today, as the parents returned with food.

Woko's picture

Interesting observations, l2i3n9d5a6.

Miledha's picture

Look who has left the nest! From egg to leaving took just under 1 month. I'm not sure if wattlebirds leave the nest permanently or come back at night for awhile. That will be my next observation.


Thanks for the update ... good to see that he/she is thriving 

Miledha's picture

Definitely not coming back to the nest. Here is our baby bird, high in an Umbrella tree and becoming quite competent at flying to nearby trees, only three days after leaving the nest. I have put the rubbish bins back in their place, with no concern about disturbing a nest anymore.

Amson's picture

Lovely story and photos.

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