Yesterday I wrote about Magpies in the hot weather we are having. So far we have had a rather mild summer, but the last few days has brought in the hot weather we’ve been expecting for some weeks. More hot days are forecast for the coming week.
During warm weather our bird baths are well used by the resident birds in our garden. When it is hot there is a constant stream of birds of many different species taking advantage of the water for both drinking and bathing. It is great entertainment for us as well as providing a much needed resource for the birds.
At one stage yesterday I was amused by the family of eight White-winged Choughs who all came to have a drink. All at once. I am so pleased that they did not decide to have a bath as well. A single Magpie can almost empty the bird bath in minutes; I’d hate to think how little water would have been left after eight WW Choughs had finished bathing!
One of our favourite species of bird here where we live in Murray Bridge South Australia is the White Winged Chough. At first glance, the inexperienced observer might dismiss them as a crow or raven or just another large black bird. We think differently of them.
We have a family of Choughs that has taken to visiting our garden almost on a daily basis. Walking “the estate” (we live on five acres of land) I often see little scratchings in the ground where they have been searching for some tasty morsel to eat.
Choughs are almost always seen in small family flocks numbering from about six or seven through to as many as twenty. Nesting is a communal or family affair. Most of the flock will contribute to the building of the bowl shaped mud nest. After the eggs hatch the whole family helps raise the chicks.
It always amuses me how this species often prefers to walk or hop along rather than expend their energy in flying. At times they can be quite unafraid of humans. I’ve stood in the middle of a flock of about a dozen as they continued to feed on the ground around me, just metres from where I stood.