Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grey Shrike-thrushes have moved on to greener pastures

Two days ago was the last time I heard the Grey Shrike-thrush and it found itself a new mate. The male brought his new mate into his territory but it did not last long. The 2 birds (there may have been 3 birds calling out but I could be mistaken) left the area a few hours later and have not been heard from since then.

The interesting thing about this is the original bird (most likely the male) appears to have abandoned his territory over his chances of successfully mating with this new female. The pair of birds have left an area where a plentiful supply of food is so they can breed in peace and quiet without any disturbances from dogs and humans and predator birds. The male is a quick learner and obviously does not want to go through that heartache again with the first mate he found. He is willing to sacrifice everything for this new female mate. Obviously the drive to breed is stronger than anything else in the animal kingdom.

With the male adapting and learning by his mistakes, and taking into consideration the needs and fears of the female, they will successfully breed wherever they choose to make their new home. I am really sad to see them go but as they have a really good chance at successfully breeding and raising a family I am happy to see them leave together, knowing he has finally found a mate and has learnt from his past mistakes.

But the question is where would this pair of birds move to that has a similiar supply of food? Out in the bush surrounding Tenterfield the insect life is not as abdundant as it is in town. The Eucalypt trees are still recovering from a long term drought and insects are not as prolific as it is in someone's garden. Maybe the insect population out in the bush is enough to sustain them and enough to raise future hungry chicks with.

Grey Shrike-thrushes are not noctural birds therefore they could not easily stay awake and hang around street lights to catch an endless supply of insects that are attracted to those lights if they remained in Tenterfield. I miss these birds already, as well as their songs, but birds have to do what birds have to do to survive and reproduce successfully. I wish them luck. I hope to one day see these birds hanging around the area again.

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