The chase is on

Collared Sparrowhawk

A little while ago I was outside in the garden attending to one of those mundane jobs around the house. Okay, I’ll admit I was checking the washing hanging out to dry. My attention was suddenly grabbed by a great uproar coming from the local resident honeyeaters. They were creating a terrible noise, so I knew that something was disturbing them big time.

As I looked around a Collared Sparrowhawk (see photo above) landed on the power line coming in towards the house. Next thing, it took off after its lunch – a Common Starling. Well, I’m not sure if it actually caught its prey. The last I saw of them was the starling zooming a full speed across the garden and then weaving through the mallee scrub behind our house, hotly pursued at full speed by the hawk. I was amazed at how fast they were going, but when you consider those sharp talons, one can hardly blame the starling for getting a move on.

Very Common Starlings

Common Starling feeding young in nesting hollow

Common Starling feeding young in nesting hollow

Common Starlings are becoming far too common around here in Murray Bridge South Australia.

At the moment their breeding season is in full swing. Our home is situated in several acres of old growth mallee scrub. Being old trees, they have many hollows. The starlings take advantage of this and use every available hollow for nesting. The sound of begging young fills the air. I decided that it was time I took a close up photo of the parent birds entering the nest to feed the young ones.

They are very wary birds around their nests, so I had to be a little cunning. I actually used our car as a bird hide in order to get a close up shot.

Who was I kidding?

They must have seen me getting into the car because the adult photographed was still very hesitant about entering the nest. Eventually, after about a ten minute wait, the calls of the young must have become too insistent, and I managed to get the shot I wanted.

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