Energy seekers

Eastern Spinebills consume nectar and insects equally, but during autumn and winter when the availability of insects is diminished they rely largely on nectar.

Their energy demands are significant and they need to forage almost continuously if nectar supplies are low. Some birds have been recorded spending up to 65% of their time meeting their requirements in these circumstances. We have a flowering Yellow Gum in our front yard, the ornamental variety Eucalyptus leucoxlyon ‘Rosea’, which is a smaller pink-flowered version of our local species. This plant regularly boasts a good supply of flowers – it’s a favourite haunt for visiting spinebills.

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Eastern Spinebill feeding on Yellow Gum (E. leucoxylon ‘Rosea’) blossom, Wyndham Street Newstead, 18th June 2016

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II

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III

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IV

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V

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A brief pause in the quest for sugar

7 responses to “Energy seekers

  1. Sandy McKenzie

    I have several of them but no flowers & no birds.

  2. I love receiving your emails and bird news Geoff.

    I just wanted to thank you for this latest post and information.

    I only plant flowering plants that birds love on my property here on the mountain in Tapitallee, NSW and Yellkow Gum is a new one I will add.

    The Spinebill numbers here are down from summer however they are one of this winter’s highest numbers that haven’t flown north.

    Regards,

    Kim Touzel

    • Hi Kim – good to hear from and to learn of spinebills in another part of the country.
      All the best, geoff

  3. Thanks for wonderful photos. I have them in my garden.

  4. Such beautiful little birds! And such great photos! I’d never seen spinebills in my garden (Bendigo). However, two years ago we replanted the front garden with Australian natives, including a Eucalyptus leucoxlyon ‘Rosea’ . It now has flowers, my correas and grevilleas are heavy with blooms – and this year I’m seeing my first spinebills!

    • Hi Arbi – thats great news – spinebills tend to be less common as you head further north from the divide. Enjoy them over winter.
      Cheers, geoff

  5. Great camouflage and what a feast.

    On Sun, Jun 19, 2016 at 10:39 AM, Natural Newstead wrote:

    > Geoff Park posted: “Eastern Spinebills consume nectar and insects equally, > but during autumn and winter when the availability of insects is diminished > they rely largely on nectar. Their energy demands are significant and they > need to forage almost continuously if nectar s” >

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