Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris

Eastern Spinebills are very shy birds and are easily frightened. They love nectar from Grevilleas. I have 4 Grevilleas in my front garden, one that only flowers in Spring, and 3 dwarf Grevilleas that flowers all year round. All 4 Grevilleas have red flowers. The Eastern Spinebill that visits my Grevilleas does so (preferably) a day or two after it has rained, giving the nectar a sweeter flavour. However, the bird visits the Grevilleas all year round, despite the lack of rain. About once a week I water the potted plants that are near the dwarf Grevilleas, so the dwarf grevilleas do get a bit of runoff tap water from the plants I water.

Late Sunday or Monday afternoon, about dusk, I noticed there were 2 Eastern Spinebills eating the nectar from my dwarf Grevilleas as I was about to unlock my front door. I had just got home from a walk into town. I have never seen 2 of them before. I was elated to say the least. One flew off into my large Wattle tree, and the other one stayed in my garden but hid itself in the taller Grevillea bush. So obviously these birds are solitary birds and only come together and form pairs when they are breeding or about to breed.

I am still yet to get photos of this bird. I do not know which gender it is either. Here are two videos I took of the Eastern Spinebill eating nectar from my Grevilleas. The 3 dwarf Grevilleas are to the right of the flowering tree/bush. The tree/bush in the middle is a native plum tree sapling. It, along with the main parent plum tree, as well as my Grevillea (far left) were mutilated and cut back to barely nothing.

In the first video I sneeze at about 18 seconds so turn the volumn down as the bird does not make any noise.

It is seen eating the blossom nectar from the native plum tree at first.


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