Thursday, 29 November 2012

A close call

The colour-banded Tawny Frogmouth has two chicks, not one as first thought when they hatched. It is always difficult to see just how many there are when they are small and covered by an adult. But now they are more than two weeks old, beginning to fidget and are ever inquisitive - peering over the edge of the nest to what is going on down below and all around.

Which is just as well, for while I was watching them today, there was a chorus of alarm calls, mostly from Noisy Miners, screeching nearer and nearer. When I looked around at what the frogmouths were watching I saw a Brown Goshawk flit through the trees, around the frogmouths' nest tree, and then gone. It was hot today, about 33 degrees, so the frogmouths had been sitting quietly with their bills open to catch a breeze and cool down. Then as the alarms went off, they clipped their bills shut, half closed their eyes, and gently eased into their broken-branch pose. Once the danger was passed they gently relaxed and opened their bills again. The adult never heeded me much, but the chicks seemed to think I was fascinating, staring at me continuously.

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