Nesting Eastern Rosellas

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globirdsall
globirdsall's picture
Nesting Eastern Rosellas

Hi, seeking advice about Eastern Rosellas. Having been away, we discovered a pair had decided to nest in a hole in our house which we were about to repair (where a pipe had been removed) - somewhere in the wall cavity between the house wall and cladding. The female seems to spend time in there, then they both fly away. We quickly mounted a makeshift nesting box made from two planter pots (as advised by WIRES) but intend to make a proper nesting box. Very concerned we're too late as I thought I could hear something rolling/dropping earlier today so the eggs may have been laid (and lost?) Would appreciate any advice as to how to draw their attention to the nesting box (if not too late) and also wondering whether they lay more than one batch of eggs per season?

Woko
Woko's picture

Hi globirdsall. Your concern for the breeding of these Eastern Rosellas is much appreciated by bird lovers - &, possibly, the Rosellas.

Normally the Eastern Rosellas would nest in a hole in a tree but being great opportunists & maybe because there are fewer natural nesting hollows available these days, they've chosen the hole &, I suspect, the wall cavity in your house.

It's probable that since they've already produced eggs that's it for this season. Michael Morcombe's Field Guide to Australian Birds makes no mention of them producing more than one brood per year. This should give you plenty of time to set up your nest box for next season.

Morcombe also says that the male feeds the female "near the nest" while she's incubating the eggs but he participates in feeding the young once "the female stops continuous brooding." It may be that raising of the young is continuing so keep your eyes peeled for the birds returning to their nest which you have so kindly afforded them.

If you happen to live in an area where most nesting hollows have made way for human development then the very presence of your nest box should attract the birds' attention next year. However, if there are still plenty of natural nesting hollows available for them then it might be a hit & miss matter. Basically, all you can do is ensure your nest box replicates their natural breeding spot which Morcombe describes as "a deep, often narrow hollow in the trunk or limb of a live or dead tree, occasionally low in a stump or log, but usually quite high."

On a broader front you & your good spouse would do well to advocate for the protection of any nesting hollows in your neighbourhood.

Monica
Monica's picture

Hi globirdsall,

Further to woko's excellent reponse, these birds are sometimes known to lay a second clutch of eggs if the conditions are favourable. So you may not have lost your oportunity yet this year! A few things to look out for are the pair becoming quite territorial about 30m around the nesting area, as well as feeding each other.

If you're interested in putting up a nest box specific for this species, have a look at our plans here: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/Nest-box.

You might also be interested in the Hollows as Homes project. An excellent resource: https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Hollows-as-Homes/Hollows-as-Homes 

I'm sure we'd all love to hear how you go!

Good luck,

Monica

 

globirdsall
globirdsall's picture

Thank you Woko. I've been waiting to see if the birds return before responding - they have, once, but I think it was a final effort to locate the eggs. We will carry on and make a suitable nest now - and advocate wherever possible for tree protection...

Hi Monica, thank you for your message. We are certainly going to put up a suitable nesting box, so thank you for the links. I didn't realise there are particular nesting boxes specific to this species.  Obviously I need to get out my bird books and do some catching up. :) 

Woko
Woko's picture

Good for you, globirdsall. It's amazing the variety of nesting hollows that birds prefer. Deep, shallow, horizontal, vertical, sloping, small holes, large holes, in between holes & combinations of the above. The greater the variety of nesting hollows we can preserve the greater the diversity of bird species.

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