Anyone know about breeding habits of plumed honeyeaters?

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Correa
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Anyone know about breeding habits of plumed honeyeaters?

Hi,

I had 2 baby plumed honeyeaters born in a tree in my yard.  I have a feeling the parents favoured the first out of the nest.  I felt sorry for its sibling, it seemed neglected and was almost saying, "Hey don't forget about me!".    One of the babies (hard to tell with all the tweeting of baby birds) is now flying around the neighbourhood with the parents.  It even got caught in the bottom of a flax plant directly beneath a summer red in flower (but I rescued it) .  Does anyone know about this behaviour, do parent birds favour the first and neglect the rest?  Is it survival of the fittest?  I felt sorry for the 2nd baby sitting in the tree tweeting for long periods with lttle attention from its parents.

Thanks

C

Araminta
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Hi Correa, me again, sorry. Feeling "sorry" is something humans do, or at least they should do.In nature it is as you say, survival of the fittest. For birds , and other animals, there is no point in wasting time and energy on feeding a week fledgeling if there is no chance of survival. This is not to say, that's what is happenong here. If the parents think there is a chance for the smaller one, they will feed it. Nothing you can do to help, that's a bird's life.

M-L

Woko
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I agree with Araminta, Correa. Nature has a way of ensuring that populations of various species don't get too far out of hand. Personally, I don't believe it's my job to interfere with this process because otherwise it might put whole species at risk rather than just the individual animals for which I might feel sorry.

Correa
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I never said I was going to feed/help the 2nd baby.  All I was asking is if it was usual for the parents to neglect a second nestling. 

Araminta
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Sorry Correa, neither Woko or I were saying you  might be doing that, I hope I can speak for both of us, by just answering your question about what (bird)parents might do. Yes, they  will stop looking after a week or sick fledgling, and bring up (feed) the one that has the best chance of survival, it is their insurance to produce strong and healthy offspring in the future.

M-L

Meave
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Didn't have any suggestions to off but I wanted to see the answers - apparently I have to put in a comment to do that! I would love to see a plumed honeyeater.

Meave

Correa
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As I expected I found the eaten out remains at the bottom of a tree of what I suspect was the 2nd baby, oh well.

Araminta
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Hi Correa, you noticed the neglected bird way back in January, now we are in April, any bird that died for what ever reason that long ago, you would not find any remains. On Monday I found a little Firetail dead on the ground, it wasn't there for longer than 5 minutes, when some wasps started to eat the carcass, I odserved what happened with interest, it took the wasps just a few hours, and only the beak and some feathers were left. (it won't take ants much longer to do the same). So, the dead bird must have been one that died recently. Anyway, that's just how nature works, at least nothing is waisted, someone's death turns into someone's meal. Animals can't go down to the Supermarket, it's kill and eat, or get killed and get eaten.( We humans are the only animal that gets others to kill for us.) The reality in the animal world is harsh.

M-L

Woko
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Very interesting observations, Araminta. I love your supermarket analogy.

Maybe sad for the white-plumed honeyeater, Correa, but great for the ants, wasps, beetles & whatever else relies on other dead animals for sustenance. The recycling of nutrients is an important part of the wonderful biological world in which we live. I'm proud to say that one day I'll be part of that recycling.

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
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