Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Ken checked the Gouldians' nest box on Sunday and was delighted to discover that two eggs have hatched! The little parents have been very good, taking turns to sit on their eggs, so we are crossing our fingers that a few babies survive into adults and we can have a a little colony of Gouldians. I finally managed to get a decent photo of the female (below). As you can see, her colours are muted compared to the male, but she is still very pretty.

Classic Aviaries in Eltham is where Ken has been buying and selling his budgies and finches, and last week they had some Charcoal Zebra finches, which we hadn't seen before. As Ken had a dozen Cinnamon Zebras, he asked Kathy if she would swap four Charcoals for six Cinnamons, and she was happy to do so.
In this picture you can clearly see the difference between the three Cinnamon and four Charcoal finches. The yellow bird is a canary which insisted on getting in on the act every time I tried to photograph the finches!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Good day for the birds.

Today (Saturday) was a perfect Autumn day - such a contrast to one week ago when Melbourne was being pelted with hail and rain. I took my camera up to the Gouldian Finches' aviary to try for a clearer photo than my first effort. The first pic was taken outside the wire, but I stepped inside the enclosure for the second one. Next time I'll try for a pic of the female. She is busy in their nest box most of the time now, but she does come out for a breather, while the male bird takes her place.

A flock of Galahs (I counted 14) came to visit.

It didn't take long before some passing Corellas heard the fuss and came to investigate the possibility of a feed. There wasn't much left, so I put some more seed out, despite objections from Ken. "The Galahs are bad enough, but the Corellas are chewing the house to bits, and I wish you wouldn't encourage them!" he said.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great news!

Our pair of Gouldians are obviously head over heels in love.
Within days of Ken installing a nest box in their aviary, they were investigating it, and carrying tiny twigs and bits of grass inside to build a nest. They now have 8 eggs! Our Zebra Finches breed like little rabbits - always in their nests laying eggs, and hatching babies within weeks, but we didn't think the Gouldians would be so quick. Well, they are all finches, so I guess that's the way they breed.

This time last year, we were overrun with Kookaburras, Corellas, Galahs, and many other species of birds after the Victorian bushfires. It would seem that they have all gone back to where they came from, if regeneration is happening, or have found other areas to nest and feed. We get an occasional kookaburra returning to sit on the clothesline and wait until I come out with a piece of steak. The Corellas land in force for a week or so, then disappear to other places. They eat all the wild bird seed I put out, leaving nothing for other birds, then they start on window frames, stair rails, or anything else made of timber that they can chew on.
The galahs come regularly, but not daily, and also eat all the seed out unless the Corellas have got there first. The galahs are not quite as destructive; just as well, otherwise there would not be much left of our house!