Spotted Pardalote nesting

Nest hollow of the Spotted Pardalote

Nest hollow of the Spotted Pardalote

For several weeks we have been looking for a nesting hollow of the Spotted Pardalote in our garden or nearby, without luck until yesterday. Today I approached the hollow cautiously and took several photos of the nest. A few seconds later one of the nesting birds came cautiously towards the hollow carrying some soft, fine grass in its beak. The hollow was obviously finished and now they were furnishing it ready for the eggs.

Spotted Pardalote with nesting material in beak

Spotted Pardalote with nesting material in beak

Pardolotes are certainly on my list of favourite birds. We have two types here in Murray Bridge, both of them resident in our garden. This one is the Spotted Pardalote and the other is the Striated Pardalote. Both make the nest in a hollow at the end of a tunnel in sand, in the bank of a creek or river, in the cutting on the side of a road. The Pardalotes will also use a small hollow in a tree and even in gaps between brickwork in a building.

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21 Responses to “Spotted Pardalote nesting”

  1. lauren says:

    i love the photos of the nest. iam studying the spotted pardalote in school and i love it too. they are beaytiful birds. thanks. bye. lauren.

  2. Trevor says:

    Hi there Lauren,

    Welcome to my bird blog.

    I love seeing the Spotted Pardalote in our garden, especially when they come to our bird bath. Then we can see them easily from out sun room without frightening them.

  3. Leigh says:

    Hi Trevor,
    Just want to say thankyou for the great website. I came across it while hunting for info on Pardalotes, which have made a burrow in our backyard (Port Lincoln). Liz and I have developed a real interest in birds and birdwatching over the last 6 months, so your site is really helpful.
    Keep it up!

  4. Trevor says:

    Hi there Leigh,

    Welcome to my blog about Australian birds, and for stopping by long enough to leave a comment. I enjoy getting comments and questions from readers all over the world.

    I am pleased that my site has helped you in your growing interest in birds. I try to update this blog every few days so I invite you to return often and leave your comments – and questions (which I will endeavour to answer).

    How is beautiful Port Lincoln? We are overdue for a visit down your way. The last time we were there was some 12-13 years ago when our daughter was teaching in the local High School there.

  5. Paul says:

    Hi Trevor

    Great website, I knew very little about the Spotted Pardalote until i found your site.

    I was wondering if you know if the Spotted Pardalote migrates or does it stay in its burrow all year round.

    I was in the process of building a retaining wall when i noticed they had moved in. I’ve been careful not to disturb them whilst they are nesting but i also want to finish the wall some day.



  6. Trevor says:

    Hi there Paul – welcome to my birding blog. Thanks for the kind words too.

    The good news is that the Spotted Pardalote does migrate with some seasonal movements. In my experience those on our small block of land are present for most of the year. Just observe the burrow for any movements as they tend to enter to feed young every few minutes.

    The Striated Pardalote on the other hand is sedentary.

  7. Paul says:

    Hi Trevor,

    Thanks for that information. Lucky for me they are spotted. Some day I’ll get my wall done.

    Do you have any idea when the young leave the nest?

    Thanks again.


  8. Trevor says:

    Hi again Paul,

    Most of our smaller birds leave the nest between 12 and 21 days. The larger the bird, the longer the period will be – as a general rule.

    A few species leave the nest immediately after hatching – the mallee fowl is one example.

  9. Paul says:

    Thanks again Trevor

    Happy New Year

  10. Neil says:

    hi.Ive recently rescued four spotted pardolote chicks from young children destroying their nest.i would greatly appreciate any information as to feeding and care requirements.thankyou.

  11. Trevor says:

    Thanks for your question Neil, and for rescuing the birds.

    I do not have any qualifications or experience in caring for injured or orphaned animals.

    I get frequent questions along these lines so have written a special article about this. Please go to:

  12. Birding News says:

    That is a great picture, shame it makes them so vulnerable… Great post and a good link to read Trevor, thanks!

  13. Bernard Oei says:

    Hi, I have one of these bird that makes a nest every October on the side of my retaining wall. I have prolonged closing it but it comes back every year to set up the nest. I have made a space now between the soil and the retaining wall so perhaps it won’t interfere. My neighbor who is into nature said that his mother is being trying for the Spotted Pardalote to make a nest in her place!!The first time I had this thing come out of the wall gave me a shock.

  14. Trevor says:

    A delightful story Bernard – thanks for sharing it with my readers.

  15. Karyn Fearnside says:

    Hi Trevor, I think spotted pardalotes are making a nest in the side of the compost bin, we took off a side as we are thinking of using the compost for a garden bed, but they have been hanging around there for a week now, and having looked at your photos etc, I reckon theyre making a nest, I can see a roundish hole disapearing into it. Perhaps they will be done breeding in about a months time!

  16. Geoff says:

    Thanks for this information Trevor. For three seasons now my pardalotes have nested in the side of a large oak barrel where a bit has rotted away, exposing the soil and enabling them to hollow out a burrow. But this year I can only ever see one entering and leaving the hollow, not two. Do you know why might this be?

  17. Judy - Springton, South Australia says:

    Hi Trevor, we have a pair of Striated Pardalotes nesting in a self watering. Hanging basket of flowers……of course we have stopped watering the pot after seeing these little darlings desperately repairing their flooded nest. They now seem fine in their nest of dead flowers.

  18. Marilyn says:

    Sadly today I discovered the nest of pardalotes pulled out from its nesting hole in a bank in my garden. It had Two dead chicks. They nest there year after year if the neighbours cat stays away. My question is if the cat dig out the nest would it have eaten all the chicks? I live in the Dandenongs and was wondering would a magpie or a currawong destroy the nest? It was a very sad and upsetting discovery.

  19. J. Schmidt says:

    Hi Trevor,
    We have had the delight of watching a spotted pardalote pair make their nest in a hanging fern basket on our front veranda, directly outside our front door. For around ten weeks, we have listened and also delighted in the noise of constant chirping. We went away for a day last week and since then have not seen the pardalotes or heard their cheeping. Is it possible the chicks were old enough for them all to find a new home as suddenly they seem to have moved! What do you imagine may have happened to this wonderful little family?

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