Rifling fruit

Fine weather, lots of time outdoors but hands full of gardening tools so not many opportunities recently to spend time with a camera.

There are however, many birds to enjoy while working outside – the Double-eyed Fig Parrots frequently call as they fly through the garden, they are quiet when feeding and only announce their presence as they take to the air.  They seem to be mainly feeding on Cheese trees (Glochidion species) and there are plenty of them around.   Metallic Starlings are increasing in number (early again this year) as they return to commence their nest renovations in the large Ficus species on the hill.

Mixed  flocks foraging for insects include Rufous and Grey Fantails (winter birds for us) along with Little Shrike-thrush, Spectacled Monarch, Grey Whistler, Fairy and Large-billed Gerygone and Victoria’s Riflebird.  There are also great numbers of Brown Cuckoo-Dove enjoying the fruit of Bleeding Hearts (Homolanthus populneus) and the pictured Victoria’s Riflebird was feeding with them.  Although the Riflebird spends a lot of time probing under bark looking for insects and grubs with that tremendous bill it also enjoys fruit.  In fact just prior to this photo it was sharing a ripe banana with a Macleays Honeyeater – one fruit had fallen on the ground when the bunch was picked and it took the birds only a few minutes to notice it.

wild_wings_swampy_things_birds_Victoria's Riflebirdwild_wings_swampy_things_birds_Victoria's riflebird

8 responses to “Rifling fruit

  1. That’s quite a haul of birds! Fruiting is still a bit dodgy here, following the very wet Wet, but it seems to be settling down.

    Riflebirds make a heck of a noise when they prise bark off trees in their search for grubs. I don’t think I’d want to be on the wrong end of that bill!

  2. Hi Barbara
    I see what you mean about that “tremendous bill”.
    Good to see them enjoying native fruit (even if the Bleeding Heart is a bit weedy).
    Better than spreading weeds as my local Currawongs and Bowerbirds do.
    Cheers
    Denis

    • Hi Denis,
      Although Bleeding Heart can look a bit weedy it is an excellent pioneer species. The birds come in to feed on it and their droppings contain other seeds so when the Bleeding Heart dies after 10 -15 years it is replaced. I also used to consider Cheese trees (Glochidion species) to be a bit weedy as they seem to pop up everywhere but I changed my opinion when I realized that Double-eyed Fig Parrots often feed on their fruit AND we have found many orchids growing on them as the trunks have a suitable fibrous bark.
      Cheers
      Barbara

  3. Snail, You’re right about the bill – it is immensely strong. Re the weather, I expect its quite a bit colder on the Tablelands and its been cool enough here in the last month!

  4. Hi Barbara: Have you been hacked? Seriously. Looks like video clip of naughty goings-on below your Riflebirds.

    • Hi Tony – I can’t see anything like that on my screen. I’ve minimized a lot of the older posts so you just get a precis …….but there is no video. I am, however, curious about what you are seeing.

  5. I am seriously disappointed that i am missing something, too.
    No naughty video visible to me, either, Barbara.
    I live in hope, though.

    • Well according to Celia there is an advertisment appearing which I certainly haven’t requested – trying to work out what to do about it.

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