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Script revision needed

January 5, 2020

One of the presentations I deliver is entitled ‘Faunascaping Your Garden’ and describes simple things one can do to increase the number and diversity of animals in your patch. It comes with several caveats. You may have the best garden in the world but can fauna get there (is there a bio-link)? If there is a species you want to attract, is it local to the area? You won’t see an Andean Condor perched in a tree in Strath Creek!

One of the examples I give of managing your expectations is the Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis), pictured left, photographed in Euroa. I love this bird because the colour blue is rare in nature and this bird is flaunting it loud and proud. As much as I would love this bird in my garden and might plant the right flora to attract it, the Blue-faced Honeyeater is rarely seen south and east of the Strathbogies. In fact I have never seen it in our area. Until now.

Whilst weeding the vegie patch I heard a bird call unusual for this area and looking up there was a juvenile Blue-faced Honeyeater in the tree above, pictured right and below. The green patch around its eye is bare skin and is indicative of the age of the bird. Young birds have yellow skin around the eye which turns green after six months. This skin turns blue after about 16 months.

The dry conditions on our continent in recent times has meant that fauna are moving outside of their normal distribution zones often in the search for water, or have the changes made to my garden in recent times actually enticed this bird in? Or has this species always been in the garden but I’ve never noticed it?

Either way this recent sighting means that a script revision is needed for my talk.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Mitchell permalink
    January 6, 2020 7:53 am

    Hello Ron
    We regularly see Blue-faced Honeyeaters in Seymour and Broadford, mostly in the larger street trees such as the ironbarks, and particularly when they are flowering. As these birds get more established here, expect more into the upper Goulburn. But one down-side is that they are as aggressive as the Wattle-birds towards other species

  2. Collin Tate permalink
    January 6, 2020 10:46 am

    Hi Ron , I have a family of Blue face honey eaters living in my backyard in Seymour , only turned up in the last five years

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