Pale Headed Rosellas Brisbane

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DaveF
DaveF's picture
Pale Headed Rosellas Brisbane

I detailed at the end of Brians original thread how I had attracted a pair of Pale Headed Rosellas into a home made nest box. Breeding season must be well under way, on the weekend we were visited by another pair who spent a LONG time checking out the box.

The female resident finally had enough and chased them away. My question to the forum is how close might another box be placed? Both the new visitors checked our a hole in a wall panel that I have that is no more than a metre off the ground so height (or lack of it) is seemingly not an issue.

I have a "spare" tree no more than 8 metres or so away that I might try with another box.

In the meantime, some photos of these beautiful birds.

Woko
Woko's picture

I suspect this is going to be a matter of experimentation, Dave. A separation of 8 metres sounds ok but you won't know until you try it for a few seasons. What you could do is put up several nest boxes at varying distances & see which ones attract breeding pairs.

The breeding notes on the Pale-headed Rosella in Michael Morcombe's Field Guide to the Birds of Australia indicate that the species "nests in a high, often quite small hollow of a tree limb or trunk" so just because a pair inspected a low hole doesn't mean they would necessarily use it.

DaveF
DaveF's picture

Agreed Woko. I'd love to fill the yard with options but I lack the space. I already have another box in place on a tree however I think a ringtail possum has taken over that one. They did stick their heads in but backed up pretty quick!

I can only try, I just love watching these guys

Woko
Woko's picture

Do you have neighbours who might be interested in participating in such an experiment? Or could you approach your local council's environment officer about what you're doing & suggest council participates?

I believe that a little publicity, formal or informal, can often attract people & encourage their involvement. After all, you have some great photos of the birds & the nesting spots you've devised for them. What you're doing deserves to be capitalised on.

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

Interesting to hear of your successes DaveF, from what I am seeing it certainly appears that you have a breeding pair using your box and I am confident you will see the young from the outside when the parents are trying to get them to fledge.  We have spent many hours sitting on the end of our main bed looking through the window at the nest box waiting to see them fledge, it is captivating.  In case you have not read my thread recently we saw the last of out 4 rosie babies fledge yesterday, which now makes 27 new baby rosies in to the local community since Septemner 2013.  Good Luck and enjoy the experience.  Brian DJ

DaveF
DaveF's picture

Update - Early in the week my wife said there was a LOT of activity and calling from the trees and it seems that that was fledge time.

Sadly neither of us witnessed any of the young so we don't know how many made it into the world but my plan of climbing up this weekend to check out the nest box has been thwarted by another pair of PHR moving right in. Whilst they all look similar to me, by their behaviour this is a different pair.

As before, on each arrival the female spends a minute or two scanning the surrounds, sticking her head inside etc before slowly entering. Once inside she then spends a fair bit of time with her head out of the hole watching the world go by. The male either sits on the roof for a few minutes before flying off, or in a close tree.

The male seems like the coolest bird ever, this morning he was perched on top of a furled pool umbrella, staying put as one of my dogs (a collie) walked past no more than a metre and a half under him. Surprising for such seemingly flighty birds.

Woko
Woko's picture

Those Rosellas are feeling pretty secure around your house it seems. 

DaveF
DaveF's picture

Update for 2018

Over the last few weeks PHR's have been seen checking out the nest box, of course I have no idea if these are returnees or new prospective tenants.

They took too long to move in as a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets arrived and within a couple of hours moved in. This has resulted in a few aerial barneys as when the PHR's arrive and stick their heads in, the Lorries respond with aggression and chase them away. Result is a pair of forlorn PHR's twittering to each other in the trees.

I have since seen them checking out a hole in the wall in the neighbours place where an old pipe was removed and the hole never sealed. Such is the shortage of suitable sites I guess

Woko
Woko's picture

Destruction of natural nesting hollows by developers & other thoughtless folk is surely an important factor in the decline in many Australian bird populations. A farmer near where I live decided recently to burn down a dead tree which provided breeding places for birds - in spite of my discussing with him the importance of retaining dead trees for wildlife breeding purposes. Sadly, many people have little or no connection with nature. 

timmo
timmo's picture

Yes, it does seem to be nesting season, as I've seen quite a few pairs around lately.

They seem to be winter/breeding migrants to Brisbane, as I don't see all that much of them around during the summer.

That reminds me, I should get my second box up again (after I strengthen/shrink the hole). The first was taken over by a ring-tailed possum years ago.

Cheers
Tim
Brisbane

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