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Natural homes

November 4, 2018

Laughing Kookaburra

There have been many posts on this blog about nest boxes and their residents, both birds and mammals. The need for the artificial hollows that nest boxes represent is a result of widespread clearing of native vegetation for agriculture, and of particular concern is the loss of large old hollow-bearing trees.

Galah


So it is heartening, just lately, to come across birds that have been able to find suitable natural hollows in live old trees still standing around our district. The common feature in the pictures shown here is that the hollows are all in trees (Candlebark and Yellow Box) that are probably well over 100 years old, which is the minimum time it normally takes for useful hollows to develop. Without the equivalent of woodpeckers among our fauna, hollows in Australian trees are formed by fungi and insects, such as termites, and initiated by branch-fall or fire.

Candlebark (Eucalyptus rubida)


Striated Pardalote


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The value of hollows to a great variety of wildlife highlights the importance of preserving and protecting old trees.
After all, surely an individual home crafted by nature is preferable to a box “made out of ticky-tacky which all look much the same”, as Pete Seeger sang!

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