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The mystery of the hole in one

October 4, 2013

DSCN3205The white wood chips lying on the grass at the base of a coppiced Long-leaved Box (Eucalyptus goniocalyx) were a dead give-away that something was afoot. Inspection of the upper branches revealed nothing amiss. However, examining the three trunks I found a hole in one. The hole was about 1.5 metres off the ground, with a cavity about 12 cm deep and perfectly smooth inside. The wood chips looked to originate from something gnawing at the bark around the opening, presumably to make it bigger. As there was nothing to indicate who the mystery builder was, I mounted a remote camera on one of the other trunks.

Doing some ceiling work

Doing some ceiling work

Over the course of a week several birds visited the cavity during the day either looking for food (White-throated Treecreeper, Cormbates leucophaea) or a place to stay (Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans). On the first few nights a Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps) appeared at the hole, looked at the camera and just as quickly disappeared. Now, however, it spends a lot of time working on the cavity oblivious to being photographed. Its ability to renovate while upside down, sideways or right side up is an ability wish I had. Occasionally the Sugar Glider tries the cavity on for size. From

Still need that extension

Still need that extension

the picture left, it still has some work to do. But as anyone who has renovated a house before will tell you, the job is never done.

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