A brave Willie Wagtail
A few days ago I wrote about our feisty Willie Wagtail (click here to read the article). I made some comments about some of the birds I had seen our resident Willie Wagtails chasing off from near their nest. They can get very protective of the nest, the eggs and especially the young once they hatch.
Yesterday I looked out of the window and saw it again attacking a much larger bird. Because of the distance – about 40 metres – I was not sure what it actually was, but it was ducking every few seconds as the Willie Wagtail attacked its head. Fortunately my binoculars were within reach but as I grabbed them the bird flew off to another part of the garden near the front of the house with the noisy Willie Wagtail snapping at its tail.
I went to the sun room and looked out at a bush nearby. The much larger Collared Sparrowhawk was cowering in bush, trying valiantly to escape from this angry little bird. I was able to get a good view of the hawk before it flew off again, hotly pursued by the Willie Wagtail until it was well away from the nest.
Their resilience and sheer bravery in the face of great odds always amazes me. Quite the inspirational little bird.
The photos on this post were taken some time ago. I should keep my camera handy too.
Hello Trevor, I have found your site whilst researching Willie Wagtails! We are used to seeing them in our garden here in Perth and then a few weeks ago I realised a pair was building a nest just outside our back door on a branch of our stone peach tree near our pool and washing line! Fast forward a few weeks and we had 3 growing chicks looking like they were about to fall out of the nest. Then today has been a huge roller coaster. I heard an enormous commotion, went outside and to my horror a magpie ( fairly young I think) was standing over the nest, Mum and Dad Wagtail were understandably going crazy and 2 baby chicks lay dead on the ground. After a couple of hours of wondering what to do we buried them – Mum and Dad came up the the graveside then flew and watched from a tree. It was heart breaking . Then we realised the nest was empty and i hadn’t seen the magpie take the 3rd chick. Also the parent Wagtails were still aggressively dive bombing our schnoodle dog as if protecting a chick. Well then I saw the 3rd chick bouncing around in the bushes at the bottom of the garden with Mum and Dad fussing around it. Thank goodness they still have one and they are still around there tonight. Am sincerity hoping the surviving chick continues to thrive and fortunately Mum and Dad Wagtail can devote all their energies to protecting it. Is this a common scenario? We aren’t exactly sure what happened as Mum and Dad have successfully seen off crows and kookaburras so far and usually the bigger birds fly away with the harassment. Would they have been distracted helping the first chick out of the nest? The poor little chicks that didn’t survive looked unharmed if that makes senses like they had died of fright? Is there anything more we could do to help these feisty little birds? They have become part of our household these past few weeks and it is a bitter sweet time indeed!
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[…] and three or four New Holland Honeyeaters. There was a sudden screeching and a flurry of wings as a Collared Sparrowhawk swooped in to break up the party. I didn’t see if it caught anything for its […]