Monday, September 28, 2009

Willie Wagtail

The Willie Wagtails that were nesting in the big tree next to my house have apparently failed in the attempt. I am not even sure if they had eggs in the nest as it was far too high for me to see. They both sat on the nest for some days and then lost interest. Nevertheless it was an interesting few days as they chased off any larger birds that dared to come into the area. This is a series of photos taken one morning as one of them chased away a kookaburra. The kookaburra was out the front on the electricity supply lines first.
It was soon chased off from there and then flew out the back and perched on the roof of my shed. The little Willie Wagtail was just too fast for the Kookaburra which was not even able to keep up with the direction from which the Willie Wagtail would next swoop in. I kept hearing the snap of the Kookaburra's beak as it turned its head and snapped, but by that time Willie Wagtail was usually on the opposite side.
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18 comments:

Neil said...

Great series of photos Mick.

Wren said...

Great series of photos, Mick. You really captured the interaction.

tilcheff said...

Absolutely great action series of photos, Mick!

mick said...

Thanks for commenting Neil, Wren, and Nickolay. It was fun watching.

Kelly said...

...ahhh...that brave little bird is so much smaller than the Kookaburra. Great series of the Willie Wagtail in action!

mick said...

Thanks Kelly.

Tyto Tony said...

Rare for Willies to give up on a nest. Maybe a (sneak or snake) thief in the night? Perhaps the Kookaburra not so innocent?

Midmarsh John said...

The Kookaburra certainly has a very large beak. A terrific series of action shots Mick.

mick said...

Hi Tony, One bird disappeared first then the other gave up on the nest. This afternoon the neighbor over the road told me a local cat - which wanders - had killed a Willie and she hoped it was not one of the nesting pair. I think it must have been.

Thanks John.

Snail said...

They're feisty birds, those wagtails.

Had a pair of grey fantails mobbing a spotted catbird here a few days ago. Not sure that they were doing it to protect a nest. I think they had just had enough of the caterwauling, green thugs!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Moick
Sad to hear about the cat and the Willie Wagtail.
So often I hear that "my cat is too well feds to ever kill a bird".
Total misunderstanding of the cat's killer instinct.
.
Fantastic series of images and commentary, pointing out how fast the Willie was in jumping from side to side.
Classic posting, Mick
Well done.
Denis

mick said...

Hi Snail, interesting re the Grey Fantails mobbing the Cat Birds. Bird interaction is always interesting and especially the little fellas guarding their turf!

Hi Denis, We upset the environment and make perfect places for what we call pests (mice and rats) - then bring in another pest (the cat) to fix our problem! Cats need to be very carefully controlled.

Rambling Woods said...

The kookaburra looks something like our kingfishers in the bill department. I like that you took the time to watch the behavior of the wagtails. I am guessing they wouldn't be considered 'junk' birds. LOL... Thank you for the comment on my wood ducks. I would be interested to see a photo of your ducks... Michelle

BirdingMaine said...

Awesome series of photos Mick! Very beautiful birds.

mick said...

Hi Rambling Woods and Birding Maine, thanks for visiting and commenting. Kookaburras are very like Kingfishers - just much larger and definitely don't mind eating from other birds' nests!

Larry said...

This series cracked me up Mick. Seeing the Kookaburra looking back and forth too late to see anything must have been hilarious to watch.

I hate to hear about cats killing birds, especially during breeding season. The American Bird Conservancy estimates that 150 million free-ranging cats kill 500 million birds a year in the United States. To read the entire article on cats killing birds go to the Audubon Magazine Article.

Heather said...

Nice series of photos Mick. Your Kookaburra reminds me a bit of our Kingfishers. Sorry to hear that the Wagtails did not have a successful nest attempt. Do you think they'll try again yet this season?

mick said...

Thanks for commenting Larry and Heather. Don't know if the Wagtail will try nesting again. The one left would have to find another mate and not too sure about that. At present I am only hearing one bird calling.