We are now well into Spring here in Australia and new life is emerging everywhere with our birds, as new families are born. Birds that were babies a short time ago themselves, are now parents with the seriously dedicated responsibility of raising the next generation of their own kind. Click on photos to enlarge them.
In Oatley Park Reserve near where we live, we found several new families of Chestnut Teal ducks each with babies at different stages of development. With many of the bird species the babies resemble the female, with males taking on their mature appearance as they approach breeding age.
You will notice in the above video four of the families with their young at different stages of development. They stick close to their parents, and are always under their watchful eye.
This Purple Swamphen feeds her little chicks alone without help from the other parent. It is different for each family species.
This Dusky Moorhen feeds her one and only chick weed.
As the chick develops into a juvenile the parent teaches it to fend for itself, showing by example how to feed, instead of giving the food to them. This is often the most frustrating stage for many parent birds, especially the eagles.
The Australian Wood Duck is another bird raised by both parents. This little family was featured some weeks ago from the Royal NP in Audley, you can see how they have grown since then.
This small Eurasian Coot family are again examples of both parents raising the children together.
Since it is the mother Magpie who spends her entire nesting time on the nest being fed by her male mate, it is the male who takes over and helps train the fledgling how to feed and survive in the world. Here father and child stand together as the child complains of hunger while the father surveys the area for an easy feed. The aunts and uncles often help with this also.
My Bird of the Week – The Australian Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus australis)
Spring also brings with it new growth in trees, plants and grasses, including water reeds and Button Grass found in freshwater wetlands, rivers and lakes. These create habitat for nesting waterbirds , especially for one very small but very noisy, in fact Clamorous bird now known as the Australian Reed-Warbler. This bird was previously included among the Clamorous Reed-Warblers found in south east Asia, but is now recognized as a separate specie. However, this bird is not a waterbird but a passerine. Notice the raised plumage on the head,
This tiny bird in past years has eluded me so many times of good photos, as it sits low, deep in the reed-bed out of site, making its continuous noisy chatter, only rising to the top of single reeds to communicate and to then fly short low but swift flights to nearby trees for food, returning to the reed bed soon after. They are extremely shy of humans. They are endemic throughout Australia and Tasmania, but not in the Western Australian desert regions, and feed on small insects.
These photos were taken last Sunday, soon after sunrise in the heavily reeded wetland area of Lake Albert, Wagga Wagga NSW.
If you visit this lake you will see them here, as their are so many of them, and you may also new season juveniles, shown above. These youngsters were chasing each other about and playing by the lake close to the reeds. They were so fast it was difficult to catch them at all.
Above is a prize moment of video where I caught the little rascal chirping in the light, quite visibly, which is not common. You can get a good idea of their call from the videos. Please excuse my use of the word Clamorous instead of Australian Reed-Warbler as I only just found out about the recent name change and reclassification of this bird.
Above is a pair chirping together as they move about the reeds looking for insects.
I finish this post considering the importance of family, and the impact that it has not only our early years, but on the rest of our life. Parents and older siblings model life for younger children, and program us with the same emotions, attitudes and standards, we will take into our life. Many have not known good family life, but have been abused, manipulated and mistreated by parents and siblings or extended family. It is helpful to read some of the research done on birth order and your placement in family. It is a valuable tool used in counselling people, and understanding some of why we are like we are. What we learn in our formative years (the first four to five years of life) shapes us for the rest of our life. Many of us either spend the rest of our life suffering with it or achieving despite it. Sufferers become achievers when they determine to correct their attitudes and thinking aligning them with healthy choices and true wisdom for living. The Bible helps people do this, but since many have departed from God and his wisdom, they now pay lots of money visiting counselors and psychologists, making this one of the latest fastest growing industries in the world. My book, “What Birds Teach Us”, is a child counselling book written in an interesting and non confronting manner. If you want to help your child or grand child develop beyond their formative years (8 -12 years), this book will be most helpful. It can also be read to children from 5 to 8. It is not a religious book but a wisdom book. Check out my Birdbook page, and order from my sidebar now for Christmas.
Have a wonderfully enjoyable, peaceful and creative week!
“For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.” – Prov 9:10 [The Living Bible]