FAMILY SLAIN!

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vince1080
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FAMILY SLAIN!

Hello all,       I have been fortunate enough to have a family of Fairy Wrens live in and around my front yard, I eagerly awaited spring hoping there would be an addition or two to the family, a few days ago my hope was realised, as I walked past a Gardenia bush I heard the squawking of 3-4 babies begging for food. The only problem I looked up and saw an Indian Myna perched on the electrical wires above staring fixated on the spot where the little birds were squawking.For the rest of the day I kept a watch from my home office window running outside when I saw the Myna in the area, pretending to have a sling shot aimed at it seemed enough to make it fly away, obviously I couldn't stand guard all day, the next day today the nest is empty. I am quite upset I was really looking forward to having the extra wrens around which brings me to my question.Its still early in the season and I hope the Wrens attempt another brood is there anything that I can do to prevent this happening again? Please any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. In mourning.  Vince.

Araminta
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I feel your pain Vince. I have lost my wrens two days ago. (you can follow my posts from the day the male wren changed into the breeding colours, then I took lots of photos of the mating. Then last week the male lost a leg, there are photos of him here. I think mine were killed by very territorial Wattlebirds that have a nest very close. The wrens might start a new nest in a denser shrub? Although at my place the nest was well hidden, I think the young were taken after they left the nest. Today I followed my wrens, and I think they have started a new brood.

They will have several broods, the season has only just started ,I had young as late as February last year. Don't give up hope.

It would be nice to have them close to your window, but it might be better somewhere well hidden. I don't think there is much you can do to help now. But if it's your garden, you can plant some dense understorey to encourage them.

M-L

Araminta
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Here is my wren girl, the one that lost her babies on Sunday.

Just for you

M-L

vince1080
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Hi Araminta.

    Sorry for what you went through I really do feel your sense of loss, some people may have thought I was being melodramatic but I genuinely am upset, every morning at sunrise while making my coffee I hear him sing his territorial song and I always say to myself go little man claim the area its yours, but oddly enough he didn't sing his song this morning nor throughout the day I have only seen him but not heard him maybe in his own way he mourning or maybe he no longer feels it's his territory which is a type of mourning I guess. 

This may seem very harsh but at least yours were taken by other native birds still hurtful I know but it just seems that much worse when an abundant non native feral bird does the damage I really disliked Indian mynahs and I hate them now.

Thank you for the lovely picture I hope you have the chance to photograph more of her, hopefully the next time when she has her offspring fully fledged and safer from others.

PS: I have to say that is a beautifully taken picture, I take pictures now and then I could only hope of getting one as nice and as well taken as that.

Araminta
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Hi Vince,

what is even worse, is when the predators are of the human species, and we are destroying their habitat.

As for the wrens not singing, mine did the same. It might be like something my mother taught me after the war, do not attrackt attention to yourself . They could be quiet to get the enemy off their backs?

Let me know how what will happen next.

M-L

Woko
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Or the male might have been singing to attract the same or another mate.

I tend to agree with Araminta, Vince. Replicating superb fairy-wren habitat would be a productive expression of your hatred for mynas. Planting understorey plants but having nearby open spaces is a good way of doing this.

Fortunately, I don't have mynas where I live but I do have blackbirds & I did have thousands of starlings & sparrows & hundreds of European goldfinches. By planting indigenous trees & shrubs I believe native birds have been advantaged & the feral species have been disadvantaged. I have copious native birds of numerous species but I'm down to two black birds, the occasional starling, about five sparrows & two Eureopean goldfinches at last count. This approach might work well with mynas, too. Even if it doesn't you'd still be striking a blow for Australian plant & wildlife.  

Woko
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Interesting observations, gazmanic. I'm keen to know how the superb fairy wrens & other fauna have arrived at your place. Are you surrounded by non-native gardens or do you have neighbours who are native fauna friendly? Is there a patch of native bushland nearby from which the native fauna could populate your urban refuge?

We currently have a spiny-cheeked honeyeater calling. The nearest place where this species (apart from the pair which visited us for a few weeks last year) has been reported in the past is about 15 km away. Perhaps the revegetation projects of neighbouring landholders are now mature enough to provide corridors for birds like this to populate new areas.

Araminta
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Hi gazmanic, as I said before, I feel your paincrying My wrens have only just started the breeding season. Don't be too sad, they will try again. At my place they lost two broods first and then raised three chicks. Sadly  I'm convinced the cats from next door killed them .

Have a look out for the other females that belong to his harem, they might have started a nest in a different spotwink

Good luck, and please let me know how everything goes.

M-L

Woko
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Some species are better able to colonise far away areas than others. Superb fairy-wrens, being weak fliers, would need a reasonably high quality native vegetation corridors to make the distance so perhaps there are enough folk in your neighbourhood with enough vegetation to enable the fair-wrens to make it from the bushland. Or perhaps the fair-wrens are able to use non-native habitat as corridors. I find this an interesting issue.

Woko
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Indeed it is. Our neighbour's cattle sometimes intrude into our bushland so I've begun broadcasting Kangaroo Thorn Acacia paradoxa seeds at weak points in the fence line. This species, indigenous to my area, regenerates readily given the right conditions & is great habitat for a variety of small birds. 

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