Weight of numbers

For as long as we’ve lived in town Red Wattlebirds have pretty much ruled the roost in our garden. They will guard areas of flowering trees, such as the large Yellow Gums and Red Ironbarks in our yard and surrounding streets. Smaller nectarivorous birds, such as various honeyeaters and lorikeets are repeatedly harassed and chased away from blossoms by the large and aggressive wattlebirds. That has been the way things operate in town.

With the recent arrival of some moderate sized flocks of Rainbow Lorikeets it appears the ‘natural order’ of things may be shifting.

A heavy flowering of Drooping Mistletoe in the Yellow Gums is attracting the Rainbow Lorikeets in numbers and they seem to be winning the battle with the resident wattlebirds. Even though the wattlebirds can successfully chase off a lorikeet the sheer weight of numbers is enabling the small groups of lorikeets to successfully guard the clumps of mistletoe, much to the annoyance of the wattlebirds.

r1

Rainbow Lorikeet feeding in Drooping Mistletoe, Newstead, 21st February 2017

r2

II

r3

III

r4

IV

r5

V

w1

The Red Wattlebird’s lament

3 responses to “Weight of numbers

  1. I love your caption on the sixth picture. So appropriate..

  2. I don’t think that is a lament. I suspect it is something very rude, and best not translated!

  3. Sad for the wattlebirds since the rainbow lorikeets are very aggressive. I don’t see honeyeaters because I’ve many friendly rainbow lorikeets and noisy miners who chase them away. The rainbow lorikeets are amazingly brave and tough – they often confront my magpies and even pick fights with sulfur crested cockatoos.

    On the other hand the rainbow lorikeets are the easiest species to make friends with – I have several that like to sit on my hand like these guys.

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