Nesting rope

We encouraged nesting in places we saw to be the safest from predators, in cosy corners of the front deck, amongst the tall,cool palm leaves on the side garden. I plait some garden twine together and attach a piece of coral to the end to keep the rope nice and stable.

the nesting rope

the nesting rope

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If you hang a rope….

The first sunbird verandah nest was in front of the bedroom at the front of the house. In hindsight, it was a poor choice on my behalf. The sunbirds built their nest to perfection, but the porch was facing the other way and I couldn’t see what was going on at all. A month of twigs and feathers, and poo littering my timber boards, and the nest slowly taking shape over the weeks, was the only indication of life. In the late afternoon and early morning,there appeared to be a lot of movement in the nest causing it sway gently from side to side.

It seems that if you hang a rope, they will come.

refurbished sunbird nest, 3 years old

refurbished sunbird nest, 3 years old

We watched the building process with little interest, too busy to realy take in what was going on. Over an occasional glass of wine on the adjoining verandah, we sometimes noticed the birds fluttering by to the nest. The bigger birds were more appealing and interesting, as was finishing our projects around the house.

To this day I am not sure if the front verandah sunbird nest produced the offspring who now live in our territory, but I guess it did.

The nest still survives fully in tact, and has seen an other few births over the years. Regrettably I haven’t!

From Black Cockatoos to Owls and Sunbirds

7 years ago, as our garden flourished, the birds started to call our address home.

The crows, owls and kookaburras started to pay us regular visits, perching high on the roof of our Bali style hut near the pool.

White Cockatoos, screeching like madmen, soared over our house in the early mornings, and Black Cockatoos found nesting grounds on fig leaved trees on the cliff leading to our beach. The little sunbirds were just about ready to discover their paradise.

The sight and sound of families of Kookaburras on the hut, on an eerie, misty winter morning in July, with the backdrop of the green hills of Habana, is a sight to behold. This is the time the owls get very daring, and a few times I have woken up to find one sitting on the handrail just outside our door. They are mysterious creatures with an almost confrontational attitude, and a very steady stare! For some reason, the sight of an owl staring back at you at close proximity leaves a feeling of impending doom, and low and behold, some nasty things have happened on the occasions that this confrontation has taken place. On his first visit, I discovered a lump in my breast, whist scratching my chest as we were staring at each other. The second time also preceded a hospital visit, and the third time a near miss in an accident occurred. I don’t look forward to his visit in winter. It is with trepidation that I scan the horizon to see if he is about, because I have not yet decided whether he is friend or foe.

It won’t be long.

I have taken photos of him, and will need to dig them up to identify him once and for all, now that I have officially evolved from Metalbabe to Metalbird the bird woman!

Dolphin Heads, Mackay

Dolphin Heads, Mackay

A flock of BLack Cockatoos

A flock of BLack Cockatoos

Resting Black Cockatoos

Resting Black Cockatoos

Mini Sunbirds in waiting

Enid, the new mother looking after her chicks.

Enid, the new mother looking after her chicks.

in flight

in flight

the transfer of food

the transfer of food

beaks wide open, waiting patiently.

beaks wide open, waiting patiently.

from heavy metal to sunbirds-could it get more bizarre?

Hi everyone,

A brief introduction goes like this;

I am an artist, an interior decorator, a musician, a small business owner, a heavy metal lover turned into an eco warrior, with a passion for sunbirds. Mackay, in the heart of the Whitsunday’s in tropical north Queensland,is a paradise for wildlife and birdlife, and I have been lucky enough to have spent the majority of my life here, wallowing  in the sunshine.

Have i always loved birds? Never!

However, over the past few years i have been enthralled watching families of sunbirds as they built their pendulous precarious nests on pieces of rope we attach to our verandah soffit. When the last nest was attacked during the night, and i saved one of the chicks,my sunbird passion was born. The resilience . the commitment, the sense of family, and organisation and structure of life these birds have shown, has made me realise that, in nature, everywhere we look, there is a depth in the life cycle, which we just take for granted.

I have been able to follow the sunbird family, and watch and document their life, closely, for the past 4 months, and hopefully can add to the observations of these wonderful little creatures.

This is the story of Errol, Charlie and Enid.