Thursday, 31 December 2015

Summer fledglings

Fledgling, or juvenile Willie Wagtails Rhipidura leucophrys are readily identified as youngsters by the cream-not-white-like-the-adults stripe above the eyes and the buff tips to the wing coverts 

The summer is now warm, the grass is high and dried out, the cicadas are singing, and the late passerine fledglings are leaving their nests. Like these two Willie Wagtails I saw perched on a log the other day while out for a walk in the local bushland.

I heard and saw the adults first, attracted by their steady chirps and flitting tails. Then I saw the youngsters sitting quietly, low amongst a pile of dead branches.

The chicks kept still until their parents arrived with food for them. Then they sat up and began to call to be fed.

This pair of wagtails lost their first clutch of eggs to a predator away back in Spring. Then they failed at a second breeding attempt, I don't know why, but now they have successfully reared a brood of chicks - two is a typical brood size. That will likely be their last attempt for this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment