Thursday, 2 December 2010

Rain and more rain

It has been raining every day and most of each day for the past five days, and the same on all nights. So I have been out checking on the frogmouths as several broods have been due to fledge this week. The brood below looked ready to leave the nest a few days ago, but they are still there, probably reluctant to fly while it has been raining. There are two chicks, one out of view and they are too big now for the adult birds to cover them during the heavy rainfall. Although they are still only half-grown and quite downy, they seem to have faired OK and are now hopping about on the nest branch and ready to fly off. The adult female is now sitting on the nest branch, having spent the past two months sitting in nearby trees. They seldom roost in the nest tree itself, probably to reduce attraction of predators to the nest. Then they often come in close to the nest to roost as the chicks near fledging.

The pair shown below have been less fortunate. They had two chicks the last time I saw them before the rain, now they have lost them. It might have been the weather that caused this, or a predator, I don't know and there were no signs or corpses below the nest tree to indicate what had happened. Now the birds are sitting on branches tight underneath larger branches. This gives them shelter from the rain which can be seen running off the bark of the branch above the female. The male is above her on a separate branch, his tail cutting into the top right of the photograph. This was this pair's second nesting attempt this year, the first having failed to predators, probably a possum.

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