We have a family of 6 to 8 Mallee Ringneck parrots resident in our garden. We see them every day and they love feeding on the flowers of plants like the Eremophila shown in the photo above. They are also partial to our pears – before they are fully ripe. (Last summer we managed to foil them by draping bird netting over the trees. Yes!)
Quite often we have seen several of the parrots sitting at the entrance of a large hollow in one of our trees. We also see them entering and leaving this hollow. We’ve suspected that they have been nesting in this hollow, but we lacked definite proof until earlier this week.
My wife, who runs a small nursery growing Australian native plants (click to visit), was working in the nursery when she noticed a ringneck feeding a young one in the tree near her. So we can only assume that they have recently used the hollow (or another one nearby) to raise a family.
The Mallee Ringneck is a race of the Australian Ringneck.
For almost two years now we have had an Eastern Rosella occasionally visit our garden and patch of mallee scrub. During some weeks we see it several times a day, every day. On other occasions it may only visit once and then not again for a week or two. It is an unusual visitor for a number of reasons.
- Eastern Rosellas are not normally found in the Murray Bridge region. They are common in the eastern states and even in the south east of South Australia. They have been introduced to the Adelaide region. All I can assume is that this species is extending its range or this one bird has escaped from someone’s aviary – or has been released.
- The other unusual matter relates to its behaviour: it is regularly seen in the company of a Mallee Ringneck. We have up to a dozen ringnecks around at any one time, but most of them do not tolerate this “interloper” and will vigorously chase it off. It keeps returning; such persistence.
For the last month we hadn’t seen the rosella, but earlier this week it reappeared, again in the company of a ringneck and again being harassed by the other ringnecks. On Wednesday it posed nicely for my camera while eating the flowers of one of our Eremophila youngii bushes.
- Now we have two Eastern Rosellas
- Adelaide Rosellas in our garden
- Mallee Ringneck Parrot
- Parrots eating our flowers
- Eremophilas – articles about Eremophilas on my wife’s site.
We have many Australian native plants in our garden, and on our property. They are a magnet for the many honeyeaters we have resident around the garden.
I particularly like the many varieties of Eremophila we have growing, as these seem to flower for long periods of time creating a steady supply of food for the birds. The species shown in the photos above and below is Eremophila youngii which particularly appeals to the New Holland Honeyeaters that frequent this particular plant. An added bonus is that we can see this plant and the birds coming to it from the spot where we usually eat our meals and read the daily paper. It is also a few metres from the bird bath, another attractive part of the garden for our bird friends.