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Attention entrepreneurs!

September 29, 2016

The stunning photo of an Eastern Spinebill on the nest in the last post requires more than good photography. It also requires knowledge of what types of birds build what types of nests and then a keen eye to spot the comings and goings of our feathered friends to indicate where the nest is for this season.

house-sparrow-1-dscn1188Or…you can do what I do and identify nest sites in artificial structures that the birds visit every year. In this way the ‘where is the nest?’ question is removed from the equation and it is just the ‘when?’ and the ‘who?’ questions needing answers.

Every spring I eagerly await the return of a pair of Striated Pardalotes that nest in a hole in a concrete power-pole. Every year they turn up and I follow their activities from delivery of leaves and twigs to the nest hole through to the appearance of the fledglings. This year however I was surprised and very disappointed that the hole was commandeered by a pair of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) (above left).

house-sparrow-passer-domesticus-dscn9482House Sparrows were introduced to Melbourne in the 1860s to combat insect pests but soon became pests themselves. As with other introduced bird species such as Indian Mynas and Blackbirds, these ‘ferals’ aggressively compete with our native birds for nest sites and food. Interestingly, House Sparrow numbers have declined in their native Europe to such an extent that they are now classed as a species of high conservation concern.

I can sense an export opportunity for a budding entrepreneur!

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