Nethercote can boast well over 100 species of birds.
Possibly the most noticeable are the colourful parrots, including Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Rosella, Gang-gang Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets.
Perhaps the most striking of all is the Australian King Parrot, the male with a red head and body and green back, the female and immatures less colourful. In autumn and winter they gather in post-breeding flocks and often 20 or more will be seen together. Rainbow Lorikeets gather in larger flocks too, screeching through the district between food sources.
High in the canopy the tiny Spotted Pardalote spends its time eating insects. However in spring it comes to ground and selects a sandy embankment beside a road or track, or even an unwanted pile of sand or earth in a garden, and burrows a tunnel over 1 metre long where a nest is built. Finding one provides much entertainment watching the rapid disappearance and reappearance into and out of the entry by the parent birds.
The hills of Nethercote are alive with the sounds of lyrebirds, and they are often seen scurrying across the main road to Eden or scratching along the road edges, and of course can be found right through the forests. To see a great presentation of a lyrebird, click here – David Attenborough
Amongst our smaller birds are the robins. The Eastern Yellow Robin can be found in the forest and also in gardens where it often joins activities where soil is being disturbed, ready to pounce on a worm. They are the first to wake in the morning and the last to call at dusk with their repetitive piping note.
Also in the forest areas, usually in darker creek lines, is the tiny Rose Robin which sits patiently with drooping wings and flits short distances through the mid canopy. They build a tiny lichen covered cup shaped nest.
In late winter the Superb Fairy-wrens reappear. The male has acquired new blue plumage by then while the female and non-breeding males and young remain brown. Their family groups, sometimes 10 or more, are active, usually on the ground, and find clumps of long grass or dense low vegetation in which to build a tiny domed nest, hoping not to be found by humans and predators. As well as cats and foxes another ‘predator’ of sorts is the Fan-tailed Cuckoo which lays an egg in the wren’s nest to be hatched and fed by the wren, then reclaimed when it fledges.
Most farms and homes have their resident Willy Wagtail pair. Their tiny nest is built on a horizontal branch orstructure and when ready to fledge they almost overflow from the nest. The nest pictured here on a clothes line bracket, had three young birds ready to take off when the local Grey Butcherbird found them an easy catch and removed them within a few hours. As their name implies they often hang their catch in a tree, similar to hanging meat in the butcher’s shop, until ready to eat.
To find out more about birdwatching or suggest topics for this page please contact us