Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Birds in Backyards experiment finished.

C has been busy, driving across Melbourne in the freezing early hours, just to put seed out on the dishes that he supplied, in our front yard!  He sat and observed the birds twice, for the last time this morning, and he was accompanied by a friend who took some photos.  Fortunately it was not raining or foggy, but still very cold, so I took a hot cup of tea outside for him about 8.30 am.  Our resident birds were most unco-operative this morning; they must have all slept in, because the only ones to make an appearance at first were the Bronzewing pigeons, followed by two Galahs at about 9 am.  There were a couple of other birds up in the trees, but they didn't show themselves.  What a shame that C didn't come yesterday - a pair of King Parrots came down to his dish and spent quite a while feeding.  I was able to get some photos - not as clear as I would like; I'm still getting used to my new camera.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bird visitors experiment.

We were recently contacted by "C", an honours student at Monash University, to ask if we would take part in a study on native birds in Melbourne suburban yards.  Theyare participating in this study with the organisation "Birds In Backyards".  He has put five dishes of bird seed around our front lawn and will be topping them up and monitoring the yard morning and night to see what birds come and go.  I usually feed our bird visitors on the front verandah, but C. asked me not to do that for a week, as he wants the birds to find his dishes of food.  They didn't take long!!
The Galahs who visit us most days were visibly puzzled when they turned up yesterday and there was no seed out for them.  I watched them through the window as they sat on their usual branches, heads on one side, waiting for me to open the door and put out the seed.  I eventually opened the front door and they looked at me expectantly.  I shook my head and said 'Sorry guys, not today.  But go and have a look on the front lawn'.  Now you might think this is really stupid.  If so, you have no idea how intelligent birds can be.   Those galahs flew off, circled around for a few minutes, then landed on the lawn and gobbled up all the seed that C had put out that morning.  There are the dishes, a few husks and a few feathers where there was a tussle over the last seeds!
They were so quick, I didn't have time to get my camera while they were still there.  C is coming tomorrow morning again and will stay for about an hour, so it will be interesting to see what happens.  The cheeky little beggars might not turn up at all, just to spite us, lol!
Next Day.
Our bird population didn't let me down.  'C' was able to observe galahs, rainbow lorikeets, a magpie, a raven, bronzewing pigeons, and a few other smaller birds in the space of an hour.  I think he was pleased!