One bird that is being seen each year in decreasing numbers is the Pardolote, in particular the Spotted Pardolote. It is one of Australia’s smallest birds and resembles a gum leaf, having the body shape and the size, making it difficult to detect when feeding in the dark canopy high in a eucalypt tree. It feeds mainly on insects and Lerps. Because it feeds also on the Psyllid larvae as well as the Lerps (which is very sought after bird candy covering of the Psyllid larvae) it is attacked brutally and often killed by larger more aggressive birds, in particular the Bell and Noisy Miners.
This is because the Miners are known to harvest Lerps as a family industry, preserving the larvae to produce more Lerps. They have coalitions of police Miners to mark their territory to harass and attack intruders, thus keeping the Lerps and other foods to themselves. Sadly because the Miners have learnt to lick the lerps and leave the Larvae, eucalypt trees can suffer stress and even die due to excessive guarding by Miners.
The Spotted Pardolote numbers are reducing each year as a result of bird aggression towards them, and their nesting holes being destroyed. Since they nest in soil embankments, making small tunnels which they fly into and out of, they sometimes build nests in soil piled at construction sites which later gets moved or used, thus destroying their nest, and sometimes both birds.
Here is a recent slideshow video honoring this amazing little bird. Enjoy:
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