Pale Headed Rosella Nesting

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Woko
Woko's picture

What a marvelous contribution, Brian. With nesting hollows being destroyed at a fast clip bird species which depend on them need all the help they can get. 

DaveF
DaveF's picture

Not trying to hijack the thread but I'd like to add my experience with these beautiful birds.

Some 12 months ago I placed a nest box high up in the eaves at the back of the house. It took a while but eventually a pair of pale headeds began to visit more and more often to the point where at this point in time one bird (presumably the female) spends most of the day inside the box. The other bird visits maybe 4 or 5 times a day and they fly off together. 

What is perplexing is that for the last two or three days, almost right on dusk the male arrives and they fly off together. Try as I might I cannot see if the female comes back but unless they fly at night, the nest is empty overnight.

Has anyone seen this behaviour in their own locale? Surely if she has laid anything the egg(s) wouldn't cope with the lack of warmth overnight? I would assume that the breeding imperative would be paramount but maybe as first timers......?

Woko
Woko's picture

You can be justifiably proud of your achievement, Brian. With so many of our old growth trees & their hollows being destroyed  birds which require hollows for their breeding need all the help they can get. 

It seems the Pale-headed Rosellas in your area feel quite secure in using your nest boxes. Nice.

DaveF
DaveF's picture

From our observations I am confident that our resident PHR has hatchlings, or very near so. Over the last couple of days the male has arrived three or four times a day and the female is away for no more than 10 minutes at a time, flying back into the nest box directly, wasting no time in entering.

Fingers crossed that we see the results at some stage and that they don't fly off while we're at work! The local butcher birds and kookaburras are also vitally interested:

Woko
Woko's picture

A healthy biodiversity should enable the Pale-headed Rosellas to sustain their population notwithstanding any predations from Kookaburras & Butcherbirds.

DaveF
DaveF's picture

So far so good, here she is keeping an eye on our dogs in the back yard. The nest box is effectively 3 stories off the ground but they're still wary.

bacdj@bigpond.net.au
Brian Desjardins's picture

Sorry not to have commented on the recent threads DaveF, I have been otherwise occupied.  Hope you have a similar success to us and am confident you will. 

About 2 hours ago our first rosie for the spring 2017 season fledged.  This September mother rosie laid 4 eggs and hatched 4 babies.  We still have 3 in the nest, but we expect them to be gone by tomorrow afternoon judging on past performances.  I saw the first egg on 4/8/17 and then first saw the babies (probably a couple of days old) on 1/9/17 and first baby fledged 28/9/17.

That is 27 fledged rosies we have helped in to the local enviroment since September 2013. I will choose a nice red for happy hour for the proud defacto grandparents.    Brian DJ

Woko
Woko's picture

Well done, Brian & Pale-headed Rosellas! I trust that elsewhere in the local environment people are restoring habitat for the new Rosellas so that existing habitat isn't over-taxed.

It seems your Pale-headed Rosellas haven't been disturbed by people looking in the nest box to count the eggs & hatchlings.

During breeding season I'm tending to avoid anywhere that looks like a breeding place for birds to  minimise nest abandonment - except in the case of Blackbirds, Starlings, House Sparrows, Feral Pigeons & Spotted Turtle Doves, of course!

bacdj@bigpond.net.au
Brian Desjardins's picture

Our rosie breeders appear to trust us and though I do look in to the nest several times during breeding times to check how many, stage of development, etc., it has never been a problem, but I am careful to only do it just after I see the parents leave so they don't see me. 

All 4 rosie babies now fledged, last  one yesterday.  We saw 2 of the 4 babies fly away and am amazed just how well they fly on their first flight, nature is marvellous, there must be some great school lessons in that box from hatching to fledging. 

While we don't see any extra rosies in our area since they started breeding at our house (young obviously taught that this is current breeders area and young must go elsewhere) other people in the estate comment that they have noticed more rosies around their area and we are also lucky that there is plenty of bush in our area.  Wish I could attach a transmitter to each new baby rosie so I knew how many are still around.  Brian DJ

DaveF
DaveF's picture

Thats awesone Brian, I only hope that my pair are as productive! My box needs a tall extension ladder to get close to, I curse that I didn't make plans for a webcam of something so I can see what is going on inside. After the season is over this year I'm going to see what I can arrange.

Lots of movement noise from inside today, so I hope that it's juveniles, not just the female cleaning house so to speak.

bacdj@bigpond.net.au
Brian Desjardins's picture

Just updating my Rosie thread.  Since my last thread our second female breeding Rosie has died, it was taken by a Peregrine Falcon when she was sitting on the back pool fence near our nesting/feeder setup.  The Male Rosie has since mated up with another female (looks young) and she laid one egg on about 22/4/18, but did not sit on the egg, so I eventually removed it from the nest.  In late July she again started laying eggs and had laid 5 eggs by the 7/8/18, but only hatched 2 on about  30/08/2018 and they fledged this morning 26/09/18, so that is 29 in total from our nest box since 2013.   Brian DJ 

bacdj@bigpond.net.au
Brian Desjardins's picture

Further updating to my Rosie thread.  After the two fledglings left 26/09/18 we noticed that both the male and female rosie were spending a lot more time in/near the nest box than they have ever done previously just after the last babies fledged.  Anyway on 03/10/18 I had a look in the nest box and saw that there was a new egg in there and a check yesterday on 10/10/18 revealed there were now 4 new eggs.  This has never happened previously, perhaps because they only fledged 2 out of 5 or perhaps because the local population has dwindled for some reason they are desparate to increase the stocks.  Nature is marvellous BUT also confusing and intriguing.  Brian DJ. 

Woko
Woko's picture

Looks like there might be rain on the way if not already occurring. Rain = productivity of insects, seed etc = increased breeding. 

bacdj@bigpond.net.au
Brian Desjardins's picture

I have another batch of Rosies about to fledge.  There were 5 eggs and 4 hatched.  They are due to  fledge  and last night we heard a loud noise outside on our back deck as if something fell, so I went out to investigate, but could not find anything.

Just after lunch today my wife saw what she thought was a blue tongue lizard on our back deck and when I went to investigate I found a largish sand goanna climbing up the bricks towards the Rosie nest box and nearly had his head in the entry.  I had a shovel in my hand, so I gave him a poke and he fell to the ground and took off through my garden.

Then I had to find a fix for my latest Rosie problem and here it is.  Photo Attached.  Luckily I had a reject plastic caravan window in my ceiling and some aluminum angle, so here I HOPE is my fix, but nature is very inventive.  I will also remove the feed house to further reduce the risk.    That is now 33 little Rosies fledged from our nest box and hopefully one did not fledge in the belly of the sand goanna.  .  Brian DJ

timmo
timmo's picture

Awesome work, Brian!

Sounds like you're single-handedly repopulating PHRs in your area :)

Cheers
Tim
Brisbane

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