Hello from the rainshadow.

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poephila
poephila's picture
Hello from the rainshadow.

Hello everyone. A great forum. My family and I live in a 10 hectare valley of mainly native grassland and semi-cleared yellow box woodland surrounded by stringybark and brittle gum ridges. I have been observing changes in bird life here for about 15 years. The main changes in recent years have been the arrival of Common Mynas in the district but not to our valley yet and the influx of a resident flock of about 70 Long-billed Corellas to the local town. The drought years 2005 and 2006 saw an influx of western birds, including unusually large numbers of Diamond Firetails. The slightly wetter spring and much wetter surrounds have led to an great increase in species diversity this summer with unusually large numbers of Rufous Whistlers and White-winged Trillers together with many more forest type birds typical of more easterly areas. Red-browed finches have replaced the Diamond Firetails this year but my favourite, as you may see, the Double-barred Finch seems to be in great decline locally. Anyone else noticed any trends over the years in their areas?

finches
finches's picture

Hi poephila, I am another finch lover, who keeps a few in avairies in the backyard, which then started to attract other birds, which I feed with my seed from the avairies, which now sees me feeding King Parrots, Eastern Rosellas, galahs, corellas, cockatoos, Wonga Pigeons, spotted & laughing turtledoves, peaceful doves, bar-shouldered doves, crested pigeons, redbrows, double-bars, & chestnut breasteds. Most of which I didn't know were here. In my area, I have seen large flocks of chestnuts reduced to a mere handful in the last 30 years. More observations soon - I'm only a 1 finger typist !

poephila
poephila's picture

Hi finches,

Great to see another finch lover. You must be from closer to the coast I'd say by the looks of your chestnut-breasteds. There's quite a few people locally (in the Southern Tablelands from about Canberra to Oberon) who have made similar comments about declining finch populations, though the HANZAB book implies longer term patterns of short term changes. That is, populations of finches arriving in an area and becoming firmly established for a few years, then declining and disappearing. I can only say that double bars and diamond firetails were once regarded as abundant around here in the pre-protection days, when many schoolboys would simply have to search the African boxthorns for nests, come back at night and putting their hands over one end, grab the whole lot to fill an aviary. Very hard to do nowadays even if it wasn't illegal. I have been in two minds about feeding the birds here. The more aggressive rosellas and galahs seem to beat the finches so after an experiment I stopped, though neighbours attract mainly bronzewing pigeons and sometimes redbrows.

Greetings from the northern Southern Tablelands of NSW

finches
finches's picture

Hi Poephila, I too had problems, especially with the galahs, so I moved the feed tray into a less visible position, & stopped feeding for a few weeks, then slowly began feeding when the finches were hanging around. This took away the corellas, galahs & cockatoos, making everyone, including me a lot happier. I live on the coast at South West Rocks. The eastern rosellas only come to feed very early & very late,leaving the remainder of the day for the rest.I think the decline in chestnuts has been sped up by people trapping them in large numbers about 25 years ago, & they have never recovered.

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