Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bird Feeder Experiment - Week 1

8th October 2017

There is much debate about the pros and cons of feeding wild birds bird seed in a bird feeder, and as wildlife carers and bird observers, we have always been very conscious about doing the right thing.   Until now we have only put bird seed in a secluded bird feeder in the garden on rare occasions and the feeder has mainly been used for fruit & vegies to supplement my soft-release possums coming back for something a bit extra.  Recently we spent a few days camping at Cullendore High Country just over the NSW border and observed the bird feeding, noting that the Rufous Bettongs came at night to 'clean up' the left over bird seed.  We decided on return that we might experiment with a new bird feeder in a different location at Jarowair, as a supplement for local birds doing it tough in the drought when there isn't much grass seed, flowers or much of anything around for them to eat... we also thought that the local bettong's might come at night to clean up any left-overs as such.  Friends who live not too far "as the crow flies", have had Rufous Bettongs coming to eat the bird seed under their bird feeder for years.

Brendon got busy making a new bird feeder from an old satellite dish that he had kept from the roof of our Toowoomba house for many years.... if you keep it long enough it will find a use!!  We decided that the feeder had to be in the open on the lawn, (so that any seed that fell would land on the lawn and not start sprouting in the garden) but close enough to the garden so that birds could duck off into the shrubs if they felt threatened.  It also had to be in view from our veranda so we could see who visited it and document it by photographing them with the long lens.  Brendon got to work building it and the bird feeder was installed exactly a week ago, and we have put a small amount of seed in it and replaced it whenever it has been all eaten.  It didn't take long for the Rainbow Lorikeets to find it.. and then the other birds followed.  We have had the camera out, ready to photograph any visitors to the feeder, and we are pretty happy with the ones we have seen so far, although haven't managed to photograph them all. The photos are rather grainy and a tad blurry as they are taken from quite far away... but at this distance we aren't intrusive and don't risk scaring the birds off.  

We hope that some of the smaller birds will become inquisitive and check it out in time.  Another bird bath is also in the plans to be added in the garden nearby.

Bird feeder visitors in one week:
  1. Rainbow Lorikeet
  2. Australian King Parrot
  3. Galah
  4. Little Corella
  5. Magpie Lark (Pee-wee)
  6. Apostlebird
  7. Laughing Kookaburra
  8. Crested Pigeon
  9. Pale-headed Rosella
Further updates to come.

J & B

Rainbow Lorikeets in Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

Male King Parrot (who has also brought his son by) in Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

Galah  in Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

Laughing Kookaburra in Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

Apostlebirds Rainbow in Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

Little Corella's  in Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

Apostlebirds, with Mandy the Red-necked Wallaby looking on..  Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

Apostlebird and Magpie Lark (Pee-wee)  in Bird Feeder, Jarowair, Oct 2017

and in the last hours of Sunday evening, this beautiful Pale-headed Rosella visited the bird feeder.  Jarowair October 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rainbow Bee-eaters and Pelicans

22nd Sepember 2017

A pair of beautiful Rainbow Bee-eaters (Merops ornatus)  have been witnessed perched on the fence between Jarowair and our neighbours place every now and then in the last few weeks, as well as high in the tree tops down the back of our property. I have seen them many times on the fence while driving home, but they take off as soon as you get close to try and take a photo.  I attempted today and took a couple of poor photos from a very long distance away, while trying to hold a stick above my head to prevent a magpie from swooping me!

The birds didn't stay on the fence for long and as I walked to try and get a better position they took off into neighbouring trees.  I thought I would just wait in the shade for a while to see if they returned, and while I was waiting and watching the magpie watching me.... a pair of wedge-tailed eagles were soaring above, and minutes later a pair of pelicans flew overhead!!  What a remarkable site these huge birds are flying over the drought stricken dry woodlands.  I am guessing they were on their way to somewhere better... flying over our property still counts as a bird record yes?

I do hope that the bee-eaters hang around for a while yet so I might have a chance at a decent photo. I am adding the ones I took today to the blog for our birding record.


Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) at Jarowair 22/09/17

Rainbow Bee-eaters (Merops ornatus) & Willie Wagtail 22/09/17

Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) pair over Jarowair 22/09/17

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Re-purposed Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation

6th August 2017

These hollow logs, which have been salvaged (from trees that have been cut down in our local area for development) have been given a 'second  chance' as a home once again for wildlife today at Jarowair.  Brendon has turned the discarded logs into nesting hollows for birds, by adding sturdy tops and bottoms to the cut ends, which both had a natural side hollow entrance already, and has installed them here today in two different sized Eucalyptus tereticornis trees, ready to be loved again by local birds.  

Two different types of nest boxes have been crafted by Brendon, with different species in mind.  One for Pale-headed Rosellas, and another larger log for Galahs.  

It must be time for a nesting box count again at Jarowair as I have well and truly lost count now of how many we have here - I estimate around 35+ different types of artificial homes for wildlife been installed here by Brendon in the last 11 years. 


Selecting the tree for the Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Pale-headed Rosellas at Jarowair

Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Pale-headed Rosellas at Jarowair

Brendon does all the hard work... making the boxes, climbing the ladder and installing these heavy monsters!
Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Pale-headed Rosellas at Jarowair

One down, one to go....Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for  Pale-headed Rosellas at Jarowair


Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair

Checking out the best spot for this very heavy Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair

Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair

Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair

Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair

The other "Galah"... my job consists of taking photos on the phone while trying to hold the ladder.. somehow I have taken this picture of myself concentrating on what was happening without even knowing hehe....Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair

Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair

All installed!  Hollow Log Nesting Box Installation for Galah's at Jarowair
B & J Gray