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Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Look who has babies - Crimson Chats

Yesterday I had stopped at one of my favourite stops on the highway north of Alice Springs. I always love birds with colour and had a lovely 15 minutes of watching Budgerigars, Cockatiels, Mulga Parrots, Australian Ringnecks as well as Zebra Finches, Rufous Songlarks and White-plumed Honeyeaters flit around the tree tops and coming to drink in a large puddle underneath the highway. As I was heading out I saw another of my favourite coloured birds, the Crimson Chat. I stopped the car and hoped the male would come nearby. With striking splashes of red on their head and underside, a beautiful white "bib" under their chin and black/grey wings, tail feathers and up around the eye, I find them delightful to look at and photograph. The female although not quite as striking, still has dabbles of red on their undersides and a big dollop on their rump, and although a plainer brown for the rest of the body, has the same striking white-ish eye with the black pupil. I watched a pair of them flit around catching small grubs and insects within 5 metres of the car. and then I noticed they were heading to the same bush, ferreting around and then heading off again, only to return a few minutes later. Even though it would be obvious to most observers that birds have been nesting for a little while already due to the recent rains, it took me a few minutes to realise they were actually returning to a nest. I kept watching waiting for them to bring nesting material, but the grubs and insects seemed to be the only thing they were getting and finally it dawned on me that they were actually feeding a baby. At one point neither of them were in sight so I snuck out of the car with the camera and took a peek inside the shrub in question. One obvious head stuck out, bright orange and mouth wide open. I could see another egg, and thought there may have been another hatched baby. Two definites and possibly a third. The hatched one or two must have only hatched yesterday, as there were no feathers, just those huge ET like eyes and head and a brown shrivelled skin looking body. If I can manage it I'll try to get back there over the next few days to see if there are two or three, and see how quickly they change.

I was at the nest for about 20 seconds, and realised I had been there too long as the mum returned and did a strange dance, acting as though it was injured with one wing out, crawling along the ground, obviously trying to turn my attention away from the nest. I got back in the car and continued to watch, hoping the two adult birds would return and my quick peek inside the nest hadn't disturbed their family life. Happily, the adults did return, and the male hawked the ground between the nest and the car for insects giving great opportunities for some photos. I hope this isn't the last nest I'll get to see in the coming weeks.

Crimson Chat

Adult Male

Adult Female

Babies in the nest

The nest with parents on either side

The nest with parents dad looking into the nest, mum to the right

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular pictures, Richard. Aren't you lucky? What a brilliant little family. I hope they are successful and you can visit them again with more happy news.