Galas nesting site

Birds in Spring: Nest Hunting

Two of the trees we can see from the house have hollows in the trunk – just about right for nesting birds.

Over this first week of Spring, I’ve noticed a flurry of activity as pairs of birds try to find the perfect nest.  It reminds me of house hunting.  The birds will land close to the opening of the hollow, peer in, if it passes that test, one of them will climb into the hollow and look out. Often their partner will be close by, watching every little movement. The bird inside the hollow will come out again, and this is followed by a lot of excited fluttering around and chattering.  Then the whole act is repeated with the second bird going inside the hollow to inspect it.

Sometimes the same pair of birds will repeat the process two or three days in a row, only to reject the hollow in the end, as this pair of Kookaburras did.

Observation Post
The Kookaburras would land on this branch together, then take it in turns to work on the hollow. One would wait while the other investigated. Then vice versa.
Kookaburra and hollow
The Kookaburras investigated this hollow for three or four days, even attempting to chip out the interior. Perhaps it was just too small, as they did not nest in it.

Hopefully the work done by the Kookaburras to excavate the hollow will make it large enough for these Crimson Rosella’s to move in.  Today is the third day in a row I’ve observed this pair in and around the potential nesting site.

Crimson Rosella Nest Hunti
The green feathers indicate this is a young bird. As they grow from juvenile to adult, the plumage becomes crimson. My guess is that this is the female bird, checking out a potential nesting site.
Crimson Rosella Nest Hunting 2
She leans in, and climbs into the hollow.
Once she comes out of the nest, the female flies to a higher branch where the male is waiting. They chatter loudly, and then he has a look at the hollow.
Testing the landing site
One of the reasons I believe this is the male bird is that he appeared to be testing the landing positions on the outside of the hollow. If they decide to nest here, he will need to land on trunk to feed her. His full scarlet plumage indicates he has reached full maturity.

Last year, several pairs of birds investigated this hollow and ended up rejecting it, so I have my fingers and toes crossed that the Crimson Rosella’s will choose it this year.

A nearby tree has a more convenient landing spot, with a branch just outside the opening to the hollow.  A pair of Galahs have been nesting here for a few years, and it looks like they will do so again this year, although I have only sighted them in the nest a couple of times.

Galah in Hollow
One of the Galahs peers out from within the nesting hollow.
Galas  nesting site
The bird on the higher limb has some feathers missing, and I’ve noticed our over-zealous magpie attacking them when they search for food on the land it claims. I hope this doesn’t drive them to nest elsewhere.
The Galahs also seem to be shy of humans. I went out onto our deck to take these photos, and they were immediately on alert. After the fourth click, they flew away.

At the moment, I don’t think any of these birds are actually nesting, but they are obviously preparing to nest.  Hopefully,  these two trees will pass muster.  It would be wonderful to know that  we have two parrot families we can observe from the house, especially now that the kangaroos seem to have moved on.

2 thoughts on “Birds in Spring: Nest Hunting

    1. Yes, it is pretty special. I feel like I have my own personal aviary! From my computer chair I can see the dam, so I also get to watch the water birds from the house. Today we had a Pacific Black Duck, a Pied Cormorant, and a pair of Spur Winged Plovers out there. Each day is different though… I’m always watching to see what turns up! I think we would have more species close to the house except that the Magpies are so territorial. They chase a lot of more timid birds away.

      Thanks for being a regular visitor to my site! I love reading your comments.

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