Interesting event

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nippy's picture
Interesting event

Just thought I'd share something that happened today (13/01/09) at Pine Mountain (QLD).

We live on 1.5 acres and have a large dam that current has 3 Dusky Moorhen (breeding with 8 chicks) and a pair of Purple Swamphens (breeding with 6 chicks).

At approx 11:30 there was an awful ruckus from the dam involving the Swamphens and an (as yet) unidentified bird. When my daughter and I went to investigate we found a group of 6 Kookaburras around the dam. Was was interesting to us was the fact that it appears one of the Kookas went hunting the Swamphen chicks.

This provoked a response of the 2 adult Swamphens who were holding the Kookaburra under the water in an attempt to drown it. We rescued the Kookaburra (much to my gaughter's disgust). We have not been able to locate all the chicks upto dark today, so we do not know if any were taken. They spent the rest of the day hiding in the frog grass (that's what we know it as) that borders nearly the whole dam circumfrence.

Has anybody seen anything like this before??

magpie's picture

Nope but then again not many people have a dam in their backyard :D

Andy's picture

Nippy that must have been amazing to witness! I've never seen anything like that. I'm sure we would all be interested in updates regarding the situation.

Sounds like you have a good birdy yard. What other birds visit your garden?


nippy's picture

Andy, thanks for your response. The only outcomes from the fight the other day is that the kopokaburras do not hang around the dam and the the male(?) Swamphen has become more protective towards the chicks, even chasing our dog away from the dam's edge.
As to the other birds that frequent our garden; well there is plenty of diversity. We have a number of full time tennants and regular visitors including:
* Purple Swamhens (1st brood)
* Dusky Moorhen (2nd brood)
* Magpie-larks (4 nests of 1 chick each time in past two years)
* Sacred Kingfisher (just moved into area)
* Magpies
* Butcher Birds
* Common Koel
* Channel-billed Cuckoo
* Blue Mountain Parrots
* Scaly Breasted Lorikeets
* Noisy Miners (very agressive)
* Blue-eyed Honey Eaters (have beaten off the Noisy Miner threat to set up camp in the past 4 months)
* Indian Mynahs (trap set to capture these pests)
* Tawny Frogmouths (brood of 3)
* King Parrots (lots of young - batch of 4 the latest)
* Pale Headed Rosellas (plus young)
* Common Bronze Wing Dove
* Creasted Pidgeons
* Galahs (young tossed out by Indian Mynahs)
* Sulphur Creasted Cockatoos (nest disrupted by Indian Mynahs)

Visitors to the dam include:
* Wood ducks
* Pacific Black Ducks
* Whistling Ducks
* Australasian Grebe
* Cormorants (chasing my silver perch fingerlings)
* White Faced Heron
* Spoonbills
* Buff Banded Rail
* Bush Turkeys
* Masked Lapwing (Plover)

We are now planting a lot of Grevilleas and Banksias to encourage the Superb Blue Wren from 200m down the road to our dam environment. Soon we hope to put nesting boxes around thew area as our big gums have only so many nesting holes.


Lois's picture

Hi Nippy, I would be interested to see how your Indian Mynah trap goes. Did you make it yourself or buy it? If you bought it, who did you get it from?
They have moved into our area and now we are seeing flocks of them. Three years ago they were an uncommon sighting here. We are on the Pine Rivers/Brisbane border. We have found that once they have been in a nesting box the native birds do not use the box again. This is after giving the box a good scrub and clean out. They must leave some sort of odour behind that deters the native birds - that is the only thing we can think of.
Regards, Lois

nippy's picture

Hi Lois. The mynah trap works very well (when assembled correctly) It was a Xmas present my wife's sister gave her. They are reasonably expensive, but worth the money. The best things about the trap are the two sections; one section for trapping and the other for holding the trapped birds. The trapped birds are then used as callers to others. The trap is approved by the RSPCA and others as being a non-cruel way of ridding this pest. You can see the traps at the following website: Cheers


ewoklily's picture

Hi nippy, your property sounds like heaven. Thats what I miss most about not being on the farm(400+ acres in Margaret River WA) We had four dams, a creek running thru the middle and the Margaret River was our Southern boundary,

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