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Peg basket squatters

August 29, 2014

Shrike-thrush eggsThe Grey Shrike-thrush is one bird that seems to have adapted well to human incursion into its habitat. Many of us who have had them nesting in odd places around houses or sheds will relate to this story sent in by Rosemary from Strath Creek:
Shrike-thrush young
“Two years ago my peg basket became the home of a shrike-thrush, its mate and later two healthy youngsters. The washing was still pegged out only metres away but I had to find new storage for the pegs. The chicks eventually reached a size where they could crawl/hop along the clothes line to be fed (meanwhile the washing had a new home).
Then disaster struck! A feral cat took the youngsters one by one. We received a trap from the ranger and caught the cat, but it was too late for that year’s brood.
Last year the basket was hung in a more secure position but didn’t attract the birds.
However, now the adults are back once again.
Does anyone experience the same excitement and pleasure as I do in providing a safe space for the birds and observing the new inhabitants? It means I have to walk up the path to the other washing line, but it’s well worth the inconvenience!”Shrike-thrush

The Grey Shrike-thrush is actually neither a shrike nor a thrush, but is in the Whistler family Pachycephalidae (also known rather unkindly as the ‘Thickhead’ family), which contains some of our most beautiful songsters. To hear some of the shrike-thrushes wide repertoire click on the audio icon below.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lesley permalink
    August 29, 2014 8:28 am

    We have scrub wrens nesting in a box in the garage, and we have had Grey Shrike Thrushes in the past, too. The scrub wrens seem to feeding young now. Competition for food must be fierce in our island of habitat though

  2. ccobern permalink
    August 30, 2014 12:01 pm

    A farmer in Murrindindi showed me a pardalote nest in a roll of carpet hanging up in his shed. They keep coming back to it every year apparently.

  3. Judy permalink
    September 8, 2014 4:46 pm

    We had Shrike Thrushes nesting successfully for several year in a cley New Guinea smoke pot hanging under a verandah.. It was so deep only the birds beak could be seen while brooding the eggs. One year they produced two broods, 5 in all. Now for the last two years they have moved to a small pottery flower pot on top of a cupboard on a different verandah (both south facing). Sitting on 3 eggs t present. Lovely tenants.

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