Little things matter

The bush was quiet this morning but there was still a reasonable amount of activity along Mia Mia Track. A party of Flame Robins, a foraging group of Superb Fairy-wrens and White-naped Honeyeaters passing overhead, was the sum of observations.

I then heard an unfamiliar call a short distance away to the west of the track. It turned out to be the begging call of a juvenile Black-chinned Honeyeater. The youngster was calling from the lower foliage of a Grey Box while the parents foraged for insects nearby.

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Juvenile Black-chinned Honeyeater, Mia Mia Track, 13th June 2016

Now this may seem unremarkable but my guess is that the juvenile had not long fledged and was most likely the product of an autumn breeding event. According to HANZAB there are few breeding records for this species, with only a single record in April – about when I think this youngster may have fledged. Autumn was unusually warm and largely dry, but we did get some good rain in the Mia Mia in late summer which sparked a flurry of breeding activity.

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Adult Black-chinned Honeyeater foraging for insects

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My favourite local honeyeater

Reference: P.J. Higgins, J.M. Peter and W.K. Steele (Eds) 2001. The Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds, Volume 5: Tyrant-Flycatchers to Chats. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

3 responses to “Little things matter

  1. Geoff – I have seen two juvenile Black-chinned at Kara Kara NP (near Stuart Mill) in May and June this year. Also Fuscous adults being pursued by still-begging young birds just last week in the same area. Looks like the warm / wet period may have encouraged late breeding in both species.

    Damian

    • Thanks Damian – another interesting observation. They are a great bird, very vocal and obvious but still in low numbers – any breeding is notable.
      Cheers, geoff

  2. Marlene Lyell

    That’s a great sighting Geoff. Nice shots too

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