While working in the garden yesterday I was aware of several Spotted Pardalotes (Pardalotus punctatus) in the mallee trees near me. It is always a delight to hear their “pip pip” calls all around us. They are a resident, breeding species in our garden here in Murray Bridge, South Australia. Sometimes their calls are like the squeaking of a rusty gate, so my wife refers to them as the “Squeaky Gate Pardalote.” A subspecies (xanthopygus) is the Yellow Rumped Pardalote. Their rump is a really bright yellow! This subspecies is also present in this area.
Distribution and Breeding
The Spotted Pardalote is found in suitable habitat throughout southern and eastern Australia. These habitats include woodlands, gardens, parks, scrubs, forests and mallee. I have recorded it breeding in our garden, both in a burrow in the sand and in the hollow of a tree. They have also been known to nest in the gaps of brickwork.
One individual I saw yesterday was in the branches just above where I was doing some weeding. He came down closer and closer to me as I made soft kissing noises trying to attract his attention. Eventually he was within a metre of my head – of course I didn’t have my camera with me! Both of us received a sudden jolt when a honeyeater – presumably a New Holland Honeyeater – came rocketing past, snapping its beak at the pardalote who retreated rapidly into the foliage of a nearby tree.
The other species of Pardalote resident in our garden is the Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus).