Interesting flycatcher behaviour at Serendip, Victoria

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jameshw
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Interesting flycatcher behaviour at Serendip, Victoria

I was at Serendip Wildlife Santuary near Geelong, Victoria over the weekend (I've never been before and it was great). Great to get out of the city and see some birds I haven't seen in a while, or ever. A crested shriketit prying grubs from paperbark was a first, and a very friendly spotted pardalote. But I also came across two flycatchers (restless?) flying in some sort of display. They were flying around an open space at low altitude with wins fanned, one after the other. One would make the first part of the call, and then the other would finish, and then the two would swap. At one stage they hovered, and leap-frogged each other in the air. Later I saw one of them hovering shin height above the ground while making a very different call. What is this behaviour? Is it related to breeding? 

Owl of Kedumba
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The hovering of Restless Flycatchers is one way they catch insects. I couldn't tell you what the leap-frogging behaviour is about though.

It wouldn't be breeding behaviour as they don't begin until July (in the south of their range),

Shirley Hardy
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Owl of Kedumba wrote:

The hovering of Restless Flycatchers is one way they catch insects. I couldn't tell you what the leap-frogging behaviour is about though.

It wouldn't be breeding behaviour as they don't begin until July (in the south of their range),

It is a behaviour though. It could be a courtship display though. One thing I do know about birds in particular is, if they don't have a mate yet, they will attempt to get a mate before the breeding season happens. This applies especially to the upcoming breeding aged birds. We know so little about birds that this leap frogging behaviour could be anything. 

What did it look like to you, and what did it sound like to you? Courtship behaviour? Bonding behaviour? Have a guess.

I'm at Tenterfield, NSW. (Formerly known as "Hyperbirds".)

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