Australian Magpie-larks are a resident breeding species in our garden. The usually make their mud-lined nests in one of the tall eucalypt trees next door, but some years ago they decided that one of our trees was suitable.
Despite not gracing us with their lovely nests, I regard them as a resident species. We see them in our garden every day and they are frequent visitors to our bird baths, especially on hot days. And we’ve had plenty hot days over this summer, including a record breaking series of heat-waves.
During one visit last week I managed this series of photos of a female as she came to the bird bath. Usually they come in pairs, calling loudly as they approach and then drink.
Silvereyes are small, dainty birds about the size of a House Sparrow. They are relatively common and widespread throughout its range in eastern and southern Australia.
I can’t call this species a resident species in our garden here in Murray Bridge, but it is a frequent visitor throughout the year. In recent weeks several of them have become regular visitors to our bird baths during the extremely hot weather we have experienced. (Many records have recently been broken regarding high temperatures.)
While I have called it a dainty bird with a delicate demeanour and a soft alluring call, there is a darker side to this bird according to some people. They have a liking for fruit ripening on trees and vines. Their sharp beak is ideal for piercing grapes, apricots, peaches , berries and other fruits, leaving the fruit spoiled as a result. That is why I have gone to much trouble – and expense – to cover our fruit trees with bird netting. My strategy seems to be working – so far.