Spring is in the air
Spring has arrived here in South Australia – and not just according to the calendar. The last few days have been beautiful. Sure, the nights and mornings have been chilly and rather brisk. Sometimes the breeze has also had a bite to it, but the sunshine has been most enjoyable.
The garden birds have all started being far more active and are calling more energetically as well. The Yellow-rumped Thornbills are busy feeding all over the garden, calling as they go. They are probably nesting somewhere too.
The various species of Honeyeaters are also very vocal and active. I’m sure they are also nesting but they can be rather secretive about it. Our resident Australian Magpies are still feeding young in the nest. The Grey Shrike-thrush is very vocal all around the house.
Nearby the Skylarks and the Rufous Songlarks are in fine voice and fill the air with beautiful song. I haven’t yet seen it but there is a Rufous Whistler lurking around somewhere too; his beautiful ‘eee-chong’ call after the whistle is also good to hear.
UPDATE: You can hear a recording of the call at this site:
Gotta love spring.
I had a pair of Grey Shrike-thrush sitting sitting just 5m in front of me the other day. By the time I changed lenses they were off.
Aaaah – the beauties of having a good, reliable zoom lens on one’s camera. Such problems are therefore lessened. Despite that, the bird can still disappear far too quickly. I’ve lost count of the number of twigs, branches, rocks, posts etc sans bird I’ve taken.
Do you have a recording of th whistler? I’s love to hear it if so.
No I don’t have a recording Arija – but you can hear it on this site:
Hello there Trevor, I just had a quick questions about Magpie Larks (Peewees). We have had a pair of Peewees in our yard for approximately 6 years. The female died about 6 months ago and was replaced by another female, but we now suspect that our male has also died as well. We miss them both dearly 🙁 My question was, what is the average life expectancy of a Peewee? Thank you 🙂
Hi there Merinda. Welcome to my birding blog.
Magpie Larks are lovely birds and we enjoy having them visit our garden almost every day. They’ve only ever nested in our garden once – they prefer our neighbour’s trees.
Your question sent me looking through the entry in the Handbook of Australian Birds. The article about MLs is nearly 20 pages of fine print. Nowhere does it state how long they live. This probably means that no studies have been done on this question. I would guess that they have a similar life span to Australian Magpies. The average life span of Magpies is about 4 years, though this figure is distorted by the high death rate in the first year (as high as 60% don’t make it through the first year). If a magpie survives the first year, its chances are much improved. Some individuals live well into their 20s.
The handbook does comment on pair bonding in Magpie Larks. It seems that it is uncommon for pairs to stay together for more than one breeding season. Some pairs have bonded for 3-4 years but this is not usual. So having your pair there for 6 years is most unusual.
Thanks for stopping by.