It’s the small things …

Yesterday afternoon I checked on the progress of one of the Eastern Yellow Robin nests. There were two small nestlings, perhaps three to four days old, with both parents in attendance.


Eastern Yellow Robin at the nest – one nestling visible, Mia Mia Track, 4th September 2014.

The adults were feeding nearby, mainly along the grassed drainage line where recent rain has produced an abundance of insect food. Every few minutes the female would return, feed the nestlings, then sit. The male would then arrive, prompting the female to flutter its wings, whereupon the male would transfer its pickings for the female to feed to the youngsters.


Wing fluttering to attract the food bearing male.


Food brought by the male is now shared by the female with the nestlings.

I also witnessed the female removing a faecal sac from the nest. Many birds do this – the droppings produced by the nestlings are encased in a thin membrane, which allows them to be easily removed from the nest by the adults. This strategy improves nest sanitation, which in turn helps to increase the likelihood that nestlings will remain healthy. I’ve often seen robins and other small woodland birds do this and was pleased to capture a photograph of the behaviour.


Eastern Yellow Robin removing faecal sac from the nest.


Settling back into the nest.


Time for a spell on a busy afternoon.

7 responses to “It’s the small things …

  1. chris and harold bates-brownsword

    Dear Geoff, wonderful pictures as usual. We spend many happy moments here in Adelaide ooking at our almost daily offerings and thought that it was about time we thanked you sincerely for your efforts.

    Beat wishes

    Chris and Harold Bates-Brownsword


  2. Great photos of my favourite bird

  3. A really interesting set – being able to document behaviours is great!

  4. Absolutely wonderful pictures of the Robins. You make my day!!!Thankyou Gill Trahair

  5. We just love these photos Geoff.
    PS: the wildflowers are coming out everywhere in Paddys Ranges.

  6. Heather Freemantle

    Wonderful photography Geoff. I look forward to the daily posting and the accompanying commentary. It is such a great bird diary.

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