|A well hidden thornbill nest|
This nest is of a pair of Buff-rumped Thornbills Acanthiza reguloides. It is a neatly crafted ball of bark strips and grasses locked together with spider webs and egg cases, then lined with what looked like a mix of small feathers, kangaroo hair and plant down. Set in a crack behind some flaking bark on an old Yellow Box tree it was invisible from most angles, except from that from where the side entrance could be discerned as a tell-tale round hole in an otherwise linear pattern of bark.
I heard the adult birds first, calling to one another, then they gave alarm as I approached their nest tree. I could see they were carrying food; a large moth in the first case, the other something very small, so I walked back a few paces and watched the birds sneak into their nest to feed their chicks (3). They quickly set off for another foraging trip, and I knew I had about two minutes before they returned. So I unzipped the camera as I approached the tree, found the nest straight away, took a few shots, and walked away before the birds returned. Minimal disturbance, means minimal risk of predation by ravens or currawongs.
|Small birds only need small niches to nest in - some very small|