Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eastern Spinebill juvenile sighted today

I woke up to the sound of either a Starling or Indian Myna in the tree next to my bedroom window. The bird woke me up. Upon getting up I opened up the front door and just stood there looking out into the neighbourhood, and lo and behold I saw a juvenile Eastern Spinebill sitting in one of my Dwarf Grevilleas. I was less than 6 feet from the bird. This was only less than 10 minutes ago (around 12:40PM) - yes I slept in. I stayed there watching the little bird as it kept perfectly still as it had it's back to me. I spoke to it then suddenly it moved, then scratched itself. Less than 5 seconds later it called out and a moment later it's parent called out and flew into the Dwarf Grevilleas as well. Then the juvenile stretched it's wings as if it was yawning whilst it's parent had some nectar from a Grevillea flower then the adult flew off across my front lawn to the right. The juvenile remained in the Grevillea.

I decided to get my camera so got up (I was squatting at this point) and walked into my bedroom. The moment I got back to the front door the juvenile flew away.

There is no doubt that this was a juvenile Eastern Spinebill. It was 3/4 the size of the parent bird. It had buff coloured throat feathers and dark coloured feathers on it's wings, similiar to the parent and a parent bird responded to it's call. What a delight it was to see a juvenile Eastern Spinebill upon waking up.

The juvenile may have already eaten nectar from the Grevilleas when I opened up the front door, but it looked like the parent bird was showing the juvenile where the nectar plants are, whilst the juvenile followed the parent around. As the juvenile remained in the Grevillea plant whilst the parent bird fed elsewhere, my Grevilleas appear to be a safe place for juveniles to hang around in. The adult seemed to trust me to leave it's chick in the plant, knowing I would not disturb it.

So, the 28th October is when you will definitely begin to see juvenile Eastern Spinebills here in Tenterfield. I have no idea where the adult birds nested, but they did nest and managed to raise one chick which will grow into an adult bird, hopefully.


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