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Q: How many choughs can you fit in a birdbath?

January 24, 2014

A: The whole family

white winged chough IMG_3173Last week’s spate of very hot weather prompted some unusual scenes at our bird bath, which was a very popular venue indeed. Over 20,000 shots were taken by the remote camera in four days before the SD card filled up and the camera stopped. The temperature shown in the upper right of the images is probably overstated, but only by 1 or 2 degrees. It was HOT.

The bath was hogged for the majority of the days by the resident White-winged Choughs (Corcorax melanorhamphos). Highly social birds, they had no problems all squeezing in to the bath together. The photo above shows nine choughs but the record we counted was sixteen. A family that bathes together, stays together.

eastern yellow robin IMG_0922The smaller bird species had no problem in sharing the facility (photo right). It is the first time we have seen the Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) at the bath since the ’09 bushfires. Bathing buddies  included a Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) and on the branch a White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea).

multi IMG_4029-001

More unusually the larger bird species that never bathe together were seen to throw politeness out the window and participate in a little ‘argy-bargy’ for first use of the water. Pictured left a Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) and a young Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) ‘get it on’.

First time users of the birdbath included an Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) and an Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus ).

Brush-tailed Phascogale waiting for a Brush-tailed Possum to finish.

Brush-tailed Phascogale (background) waiting for a Brush-tailed Possum to finish.

Common Ringtail Possums were photographed having a drink during the day while at night the fauna respected one another’s personal space and formed an orderly queue.

As I look out the window today a light rain is falling on the valley and behaviour around the birdbath is as it ever was. The natural order has returned.

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