Double Barred Finches in our garden

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dougt
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Double Barred Finches in our garden

I had to replace the stump holding the right hand tray and the double bars were queing up in the tree above waiting for their 2 hourly drink and a bath.  The ferns won't take long to refill the gap.

I have kept this area close to keep the bigger birds, like kookas, maggies, large parrots etc. out as they are aggressive to all the honey eaters, wrens, finches etc.  Over the years we have recorded over 20 species or different variations of th same species to come for a drink or bath. None of the birds are artificially fed, the honey eaters have the grevillias and callistomons and the insect eaters find there own in the mulch, trees etc.

Doug

Woko
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Love your strategy of allowing the birds to find their own, natural food, Doug. 

WhistlingDuck

Very cute with the little finches in the bird bath - great work doug providing a safe sanctuary for them. 

brian63
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Well done Doug wonderful to see.

Devster
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That's awesome. i would love to have a little space for birds to come and bath.

I do have a bird bath but like you said the bigger birds dominate so I never see smaller ones.

Woko
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Devster, any thoughts on why bigger birds dominate the bath?

Devster
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Yes Woko, not enough coverage for the little guys to hide in.

Its a rental property so not a lot we can do.

dougt
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The larger birds will buzz the little ones to chase them away and then they have the bird baths to themselves.  The biggest offenders are the Little Friar birds and the Wattle birds.  The Lewin's honeyeaters and Wagtails also intimidate the smaller birds. 

What it really boils down to is the bigger you are the wider variety of birds you can intimidate.

A couple of months ago I went outside and there was Trouser our resident 3 metre Carpet python coiled up in the green tray.  Now he had the whole range of birds species all kicking up a fuss but who cares I can do it because I can.  LOL

Woko
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So having good cover for small birds would help them cope with intimidation/competition by/from larger birds. Would your landperson be approachable on this matter? 

Devster
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Probably not Woko. They are farmers and run cattle. They only care about the land if it gives them some sort of money in return.

Woko
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The other alternative would be to present them with a fait accompli!

Devster
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I have no idea what that is Woko

Woko
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A "work accomplished", Devster. It's like asking for forgiveness after you've done something rather than permission to do it. Often used by people working in a bureaucracy who want to get things done but are prevented by rules, regulations & hide-bound bosses. So they go ahead & take action then tell the boss what a great idea he/she had. In your case it would involve putting in the plants then telling the owners what a great idea they had for beautifying  their property.

Annie W
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Awesome Doug!  Are they all terracotta plant pot bases?  Just asking as I really need to re-visit my bird bath arrangements here and am looking for some alternatives.  I find our local birds hate the glazed commercial baths I have at the moment, (preferring my neighbours' stone/concrete/terracotta type baths) - that's the only conclusion I can come too given the baths they prefer don't necessarily have any cover around them, or natives, etc etc - so looking for something more natural to revamp my new birds only area that I recently created, even if to just test my somewhat lame theory c:

NW Tasmania

dougt
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Hi Annie,

They are glazed terracotta.  I found them easier to clean algae from them than unglazed. Very expensive though I bought them on special at Bunnings about 5 years or so ago for about $4 each.  My pension money for the week.  LOL

Curiously most of the birds prefer the brown base to the green one however the Double Bars couldn't care less.

I am in the process of redeveloping the whole scene.  What is important for the small birds is lots of cover and somewhere to preen after their bath.  Study the different behaviour patterns of your birds and try to cater to their preferences. The shrub I used is fairly open but very twiggy and that stops the bigger birds from getting into the preening shrub.  Most of the birds fly into the twiggy shrub, check their surroundings for threats and if they feel safe they will come down to drink.  If they still feel safe then they take their bath as that would be their most vulnerable time.

Some of the birds like the maiden hair fern and I sometimes see the wrens and silvereyes going into the fern to bathe on the fern when its get wet from lots of other birds splashing water over the ferns so more ferns were planted.  Even the baby eastern water Dragons like to get into the ferns.

Doug.

Woko
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I've also noticed the birds prefer brown & brown-red terracotta bowls to green (plastic) bowls.

Annie, you might want to try containers of different depths to cater for a range of different sized birds. Superb Fairywrens & Yellow-rumped Thornbills are attracted by water only a couple of millimeters deep. 

Annie W
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Woko wrote:

I've also noticed the birds prefer brown & brown-red terracotta bowls to green (plastic) bowls.

Annie, you might want to try containers of different depths to cater for a range of different sized birds. Superb Fairywrens & Yellow-rumped Thornbills are attracted by water only a couple of millimeters deep. 

Same here so far Woko, now I've patched up the reddish-brown one I saw a little interest earlier today, and I find they really don't like my blue one.  I think you are spot on, I need to add a few more that cater towards smaller guests for sure - job on this week I think :)

NW Tasmania

dougt
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Annie W wrote:

RE: water depth.

From my experience the wrens and finches aren't fussy about water depth.  The two terracotta trays are 20mm deep and the large plastc tray is 30mm deep.  The wrens love to "swim" across the tray. They sort of run across the tray and shuffle their wings as if they are swimming and the double bars will sit and soak on a hot day for up to 5 minutes at a time. Nothing unusual to see a dozen Dbs all in together just cooling off. (or is it chilling out?)

Doug.

Woko wrote:

I've also noticed the birds prefer brown & brown-red terracotta bowls to green (plastic) bowls.

Annie, you might want to try containers of different depths to cater for a range of different sized birds. Superb Fairywrens & Yellow-rumped Thornbills are attracted by water only a couple of millimeters deep. 

Same here so far Woko, now I've patched up the reddish-brown one I saw a little interest earlier today, and I find they really don't like my blue one.  I think you are spot on, I need to add a few more that cater towards smaller guests for sure - job on this week I think :)

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