|Bentley the Butcherbird at home at Jarowair August 2016|
Our little Bentley the Butcherbird brought much happiness to our lives and everyone who met him.
Many of you who follow our blog or instagram will remember regular mentions of our resident, Butcherbird full of character.
Bentley arrived at Jarowair on 28th November 2015 (see post) - landing on Brendon's shoulder in the yard after he had finished mowing. It was the most bizarre occurrence and not like any interaction we have ever experienced with a wild animal. From that day on, Bentley (named by our daughter) was here to stay. He remained a wild bird who would come for mince and insect treats, hop around inside the house, sing and call, then go back outside to be a 'real bird'. He slept in the trees and on occasion on a wall light inside, if he'd ventured indoors at the end of the day- once he had his cosy spot for the night, there was no waking him up. Early morning though he would be the best alarm clock- waking us up in all sorts of humorous ways.
There was a reason why Bentley came to be a part of our family and to become a friend to all of the birds at Jarowair- where he became 'King'. In his short life he captured the hearts of many- he featured in newspaper articles with Queensland Country Life & Rural Weekly, had his own Facebook photo albums on the Queensland Murray Darling Committee page, impressed journalist Belinda Sanders from ABC Southern Qld so much that a lot of her questions in my interview with her changed topic to Bentley. (More Here) He featured in the Toowoomba Field Naturalists Newsletter after the group were smitten with his antics during their visit at the end of 2016.
He captured the hearts of all children who visited here and surprised many with his friendly demeanor. He sang in chorus along with us all when we would whistle to him- and especially loved to sing to Brendon and Kirra early in the morning. He watched Cam practice his discus and shot put safely from the cubby house, hopped around the edge of the pool when the kids were swimming, followed Brendon in the yard awaiting snacks found while gardening and would follow me anywhere from the clothes line to the waterholes and would keep me company at the joey pen during feed time.
He took particular interest in any wildlife in care at Jarowair and while curious to who the 'new patient was' he never harmed anything, making friends with tawny frogmouths, joeys and bandicoots. He was a good watchdog and alerted us to a brown snake in the yard and regularly sang out in alarm when a lace monitor visited the chicken pen- and loved giving it a few swipes. He loved to stash 'presents' or 'save it for later' food items in bizarre places in particular under the windscreen wipers on Brendon's Ute, behind cushions on the outdoor lounge, in potted plants on the deck and inside in the upstairs loft library when he had the chance. He also loved to steal the kids socks when they would take them off outside to jump on the trampoline. Socks could be found 'stuffed' up high in tree branches, and were a hilarious sign of his antics.
Bentley taught us many lessons, including the importance of laughter and humour, and how there is always something to be happy about. I never would have expected such amazing things from one little bird, but our lives have been enriched forever and his presence here will always be felt.
Fly forever my friend
Rip Bentley the Butcherbird.
J, B, C & K