Bird of the Week: 4th of February - garden

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kathiemt
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Araminta wrote:

They have the biggest most beautiful eyes, don't they?

Yes, they do. I hadn't been able to see its face clearly till I got these shots.  The one you posted the other week was gorgeous.

Kathiemt
Selby, Victoria
 

BackYardBirds
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Hi. Im new here but your picture looks like one I have in my garden. Can you tell me what type of bird it is, please?  I also have similar ones with yellow markings and a third type with red markings. They disappear for long stretches and then come back. I put out seed and have attracked lots of finches but if these are types of Robins, then with my research I need to supply fruits, raisins and chopped peanuts....Is this correct? Im also new to the appreciation of bird life in my garden so I dont know much yet. Thanks.

BackYardBirds
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Sorry. That reply was posted to the wrong picture. I was looking at a Robin (maybe) with blue cheeks, blue crown and blue across its shoulders.

Woko
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Happy New Year to you, BackYardBirds.

If you check you'll see this is a 5 year old thread so probably your post is better served by being in the Identifications subforum. Not to worry.

Unfortunately, I don't think you've given enough detail for your sighting to be identified. I'm even wondering if you're from the UK given the advice you've been given about food to put out for birds. If so, you need to be aware that this is an Australian site. Can you advise your location so that a helpful response can be given?

Lightuningbird
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Hmm....blue wren of some sort?

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

BackYardBirds
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Im in Darling Downs area. SW Qld Australia. Im sorry. I never remember to check the dates when I do a Google search. They are probably Wrens of some sort but a little different from the images Ive seen. I thought they might be robins earlier but I was wrong. Ive only recently become so interested in my yard birds. They dont hang around long enough to get a good look and my camera isnt handy so early in the morning. The 3 i'm interested in have either red, yellow or blue markings. Also Im not very good at navigating your site. I saw the pic of the little fellow with blue top and cheeks and he was the closest to what I have here in my yard. They disappear for weeks or sometimes months at a time. Id just like to know the best food to put out for them. I have a big finch population here and they love the small bird seed I put out but I read that wrens like mealworms and fruits and suet. I wouldnt know where to get mealworms or suet. The fruit I can do. Thnx for any advise. regards M. 

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

There probably veregated fairy wrens, the red yellow and blue. There also the most common.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
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Thanks for advising of your location, BackYardBirds. There might be a Birds in Backyarder from the Darling Downs or nearby who can help with identifying the birds you’ve seen. There could well be some wrens among them but if you can post a photo/s identification would be much easier, of course. 

The best food to put out for the birds in your backyard is contained in the plants that grow or used to grow naturally in your area. So I would avoid artificially feeding them for several reasons:

* sometimes the food we humans, with the best of intentions, believe is good for birds is harmful to them

* the birds in your backyard have evolved over millions of years in association with their environment which includes the natural vegetation in your area. To introduce something foreign to them is to disturb the natural ecology of your area

* we humans have done enormous damage to the natural environment so much so that many of our birds are extinct or in danger of becoming extinct. To plant the indigenous vegetation of your area is to restore part, however small, of that natural environment & to reduce the chances of extinction

* when we artificially feed birds we need to ask for whom or what is the feeding. I would suggest that in most cases it’s for us rather than the birds so that we can get up close to them

There are, of course, differing opinions on all this &, if you’re interested, you could type <artificial feeding> in the search box near the top of this page.

You may already have native vegetation in your backyard which would perhaps explain why you have the birds you have. If you haven’t you could consult your local council’s environment officer or local Landcare or other environment group about which plant species are local to where you live. 

It can be very exciting when you become aware of the birds around you. Observing, identifying them & becoming aware of their part in the natural environment can be a wonderful learning experience. The very best to you as you start out, BackYardBirds. 

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

I’m going to finds out when the birds in my aria live in and plant out the small disused paddock out the back, as it’s to small to do anything else with. 

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

I all ready know what birds are native to my area.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
Woko's picture

Not being over-familiar with the indigenous vegetation in your area I'm interested in what species you're planning to plant, Lightuningbird.

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

There’s a natural paddock on the eagle of the small town. It’s mainly native plants. 

The main native plants seen in the area are box trees, mally gums and plenty of some sort of wattle that’s unique to the area.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
Woko's picture

It seems there might be a good source of seed from local species. Can you get permission to collect seed for use in your disused paddock?

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

I cou,d collect seed from my grandparents farm, there’s plenty of native species there.

iv already got some native pine tree seeds to plant, although they will take a wile to grow.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

BackYardBirds
BackYardBirds's picture

Thank you, Lightuningbird. Now that Ive had more time to sit and watch, i think you are right about the variagted Fairy wren ID. I dont see them often but I didnt always go outside for my morning coffee either. Snakes about.... *shake in my boots* When ever I see the red one, it feels like a sign that all will be well and its a good feeling. He is braver than the other coloured ones and will stand and look at me for longer- so long as I dont get too close. :) Thanks again.

BackYardBirds
BackYardBirds's picture

Thanks, Woko for all that info. It is thought provoking. I've only put out 'small bird seed'. I dont put out bread or other human food. However if I have lettuce or fruit left-overs I toss them else where. I have 40 acrea with mostly Cyprus Pine, Black wattle and lots of Eucalyptus, mainly Ironbark. Its mostly too dry for much else. There's a ton of native grasses about but in my own personal garden, Ive got Geisha Girls, Bottle brush, Bougainvillea, Jacaranda, flowering plants like: Geraniums, Marigolds and ornamental chillies and Cana lillies. Also I have a row of cactii further away that flowered brilliantly months ago which attracted a small brownish bird with a long beak that hovered around the bell shaped flowers. As to my motives, I hadnt thought much about it before but there is a feral cat population and Id like to help even out the odds for the small birds. (Diverting here: confession: I have 2 house cats of my own. I have a large house and they have their own personal covered and secured outdoor area with house access. As there are snakes about and we have had mouse problems in the past, for me, cats are a must in the house but I try to help the outdoor birds thrive as best as I can.) Atm, Im looking into breeding boxes as our climate is harsh and tempertures soar and plumet with the seasons. When It rains, it pours!! I'm getting more small pidgeons now. (not my plan) and a pair of colourful * unidentifed ones* once. There are many crows and magpies which I dont care for at all and cockatoos but they just fly over as a friend a km away puts out large bird seed. Thats about all I can think of to address your comment. Thnx for the info and I was aware of harmful human interference with nature, that is why Im trying to learn as much as I can to help the little birds in my yard.

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

Colourful pigeons, fruit doves may be. There green perpal and yellow.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
Woko's picture

Well done on containing your cats, BackYardBirds. You clearly understand the threat cats pose to our native wildlife. 

It’s great that you have native grasses on your property. They’re a really important part of our environment providing seed & nesting material for birds & habitat for butterflies as well as skinks & lizards on which raptors prey. I’ve even seen a spider among Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra which was camouflaged the same colour as the seed head. It’s all a wonderful web of life which we can enhance by gardening with indigenous plants. 

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