Posts Tagged ‘Rosella’

Robby Rosella taking a good look at the world.

Robby Rosella taking a good look at the world.

The more chances I had to see the little birds inside the nest, the more excited I became at seeing them finally come out to say hello to the world. We now knew there were two babies inside from the earlier photos.  There was always a lot of pushing and maneuvering around inside the hole (nest) but we could only make out bodies and feathers. Looking into the darkened interior it was guesswork to say how many babies were inside.

What I loved most at this time was seeing how quickly they changed.  You could see  them growing in front of you as their feathers became more colourful and they really started to look more than pink skinned bodies.  Between the parents and last years offspring flying to and fro constantly it made me think of a Rosella highway.

No, I don't think they have to worry about getting fat.

No, I don’t think they have to worry about getting fat.

Then, in the middle of last week I though I heard the sound of something hitting one of the windows. Not very loudly and there was silence after it. Since I was ‘laid up’ at the time, I took myself to the bedroom window to see what had made the noise. I thought something had hit the laundry window but wasn’t sure.

I did not only do a double take but took several minutes to convince myself I was actually seeing what was in front of me.  He was actually six feet away. but it took that long for my eyes to adjust and pick him out next to the rock wall. The Rosella parents have obviously been encouraging them to come out of the nest – at least they were doing lots of talking to the babies after they had fed them, so I’m guessing that was what prompted this.

Now how did I get here?

Now how did I get here?

Unhurt but unsure of what to do he stayed right where he was. Should I try to help him?

I'm just going to look at this funny thing in front of me and pretend I'm back home.

I’m just going to look at this funny thing in front of me and pretend I’m back home.

So, here is Robby, (we think he may be a male from the colourful plumage, but that’s only a guess), sitting in front of the rock wall and looking slightly bemused. He had obviously been braver than his sibling and decided to come out of the nest to have a look at the big bright world, but had fallen afoul of a gust of wind and down he had sailed. My dilemma was what to do. Should I try to catch him and return him to his nest or would he be safe enough until he could get back himself?

The sound of a door closing inside the house saw Robby flutter up into the garden where we could hear him chirping plaintively. Unable to bear the suspense I crept quietly outside to see if he was alright.  There he was hiding under the foliage, standing so still I had to strain to see him. They are incredibly well camouflaged.

If you click on the photos they will open up for a better view.

He must have felt safe because apart from a peak out he decided to stay well hidden under the shrubbery.  The adults started chirping away and we could hear the little fellow answer so it wasn’t long until they started to make their way down to locate him and to feed him.

If you click on the photos they will open up for a better view.

Robby was apparently not ready to relinquish what he felt was a nice safe place to hide. There was plenty of foliage around him since he was in the middle of the Prince of Orange Ixora. I’m sure the fragrance from the flowering Hoya would have reminded him of his nice safe nest too. After a nerve-wracking night, for the human watchers at least, and a brief shower, we resumed an unobtrusive watch on Robby’s progress.

The adults were becoming louder in their calling. Whether they were trying to encourage his brother or sister to come out or Robby to get home I’m not sure, however about mid morning we received another surprise when we saw this.

Two more babies inside the nest.

Two more babies inside the nest.

Ray had seen one make the leap earlier in the day so that meant we had a clutch of four baby Rosellas inside the nesting box. (Does it show we felt like proud parents ourselves)?

That only left the question of Robby. A night on the ground, even being fed by his parents, was obviously not what he was happy about. He began a trek in quick dashes across the grass towards the far wall bordering our neighbours garden.  The grass there was a little higher (late with the mowing, lucky for him), so with his colouring he was almost invisible.

A couple of the adults were calling from the tree and two came down onto the ground to encourage him to ‘make a leap’. Another one.

If you click on the photos they will open up for a better view.

As dusk drew down we were wondering if Robby was destined to spend another night on the ground alone. The adults had been feeding him regularly but it certainly sounded like he had a pep talk after each feeding.  Suddenly there was an explosion of sound, feathers flapping and a whirring as he took off and sailed up onto the roof.  An adult was soon on the scene and from the noise which sprang up a short time later we presumed he had made it back to the home tree. Success!

All the babies are now hopping around the tree, scavenging my Grevillea for honey and filling out nicely. The riot of colour seeing them flitting through the tree is magical. It has certainly melted my heart seeing the family reunited.  Rosellas maintain family groups often and come back to help  raise subsequent clutches of young. It certainly is a beautiful example of the circle of life.

On watch, at home.

On watch, at home.

A happy ending for our Rosella family. No doubt they will be back again since they have claimed the nesting site. I am going to look forward to seeing them again.

I hope you enjoyed our little excitement at the Rosella tree.

Blessings.  Susan  x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Love is in the air

Love is in the air

The love bug bit early this year (I think) and we have had the Eastern Rosellas back in the nesting box in the front garden.   Above is a photograph of one of last years parents feeding the almost full grown offspring.  Now we have the parents, their offspring from last year, (two birds) and a clutch of new babies.

We have been trying to guess how many were in the box since we didn’t want to disturb them. Mum and Dad have been flying madly to and fro and there was lots of cheeping from inside. Excitement has been rising as the weeks passed.

It was really tempting to get closer as the bird box is right above the King Orchid which was flowering spectacularly a short time ago.  In fact it was whilst photographing the orchid that we learned it was inhabited. There was an explosion of feathers from the bird box as one of the parents left in a hurry at being disturbed.

Have you ever had a surprise sitting there, waiting for the right time to be opened and you are so excited waiting to find out what is inside? That’s how I’ve felt for the past few weeks.  When the chirping became louder we started seeing the parents and offspring almost stripping my Sandra Gordon Grevillea of the nectar. I thought it was beautiful that the young from last year returned and helped raise the next generation.

The only time there was any concern was the arrival of the local Currawongs. They are predatory birds and love getting the eggs from nests if they can. One particular day there were six hopping all over the tree during the day. I spent more time shooing them away than doing anything else.

So, we finally saw our little family, the fledgling, peeping out of the box. One quick shot and the head popped back inside again. We still had no idea if there were more babies inside and didn’t want to scare them  away. Peering through the bedroom window each time the chirping became load was an occupational hazard.

You can imagine our surprise when we found out we had more than one baby inside the box. We caught several beautiful shots of two heads popping up and down at the ‘mouth’ of the box.

Success – we finally got a great photo of the babies!

We have two!

We have two!

It was really difficult to get an idea of whether we were seeing the same two heads or perhaps more. Parents and young from last year seemed to be dashing to and fro so often we thought there may be more. The Currawongs were now no longer a problem and we had to be patient to find out exactly how big a brood was hiding in there.

Yet as always, the path of love, and life never runs smoothly. I was loathe to leave them because we thought they might be venturing outside at any time, but my doctors appointment was scheduled and I had to go away.  Peering through cross eyes at a bird box through a camera is a challenging task so I had to content myself with making sure they were there and waiting. But there was a mishap to come.

To remind you of the orchid in the tree…. and for Laurie, our Green tree frog who serenades us at the laundry door every night.

I couldn’t resist showing our Butcher birds who come caroling every morning.  We are Blessed to have such an abundance of beautiful wildlife at our doorstep.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoy taking them. I love sharing the amazing life we have around us, especially when there may be a struggle going on inside. At least I can see straight, talk sensibly and have my fingers do the walking.  🙂

Next – An unexpected development.

Ciao, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013.

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