Continuing from my last post, and a week of unseasonably cold, wild, wet windy weather like we have not seen this side of Summer, we decided when the sun finally reemerged, to revisit the Collared Sparrowhawk fledglings and see how much they had grown. We managed to sight them feeding high above the track in a eucalypt. It was easy to see the blood of the unfortunate prey as one of the juveniles fed on the food freshly killed and dismembered for eating, while the male looked on in protecting mode. Again the reserve was eerily quiet without the normal bird calls. My question was had they killed and eaten most of the small resident birds for food, or were the resident small birds just lying low and quiet due to the bird eating raptor’s presence ?

Here are some shots of the juveniles feeding. Notice the more mottled breast plumage with downward dark lines and dark eyes.

Here are some shots of the parents. Notice chestnut horizontal chest striping bright yellow eyes which appear to stare. The Brown Goshawk, which looks identical almost has deep set eyes that appear to glare.

It was lovely seeing them out in the open. We are thankful to our Lord that a birder came along and showed us where these birds were feeding, just as we arrived. We could easily had missed them.

While we were in the park we noticed this pair of Rainbow Lorikeet nesting in a hole in an Angophora tree. This nesting hole is also used by the Powerful Owls during the Winter. It is interesting how various birds take control of the holes between seasons, as each species nest at different times. This is a wonderful provision making the holes which are sought after real estate in birdville, available year round. Birds of the Parrot and Owl families use holes from these trees.

To escape the cold wet weather my wife and I went south west for a few days to Wagga Wagga to visit my wife’s sister near Lake Albert. I have posted birds from here many times, as they have excellent nesting provisions in the River Gums around the lake, plenty of fresh water and food sources nearby. As most of our time there was of a social nature my birding exploits were limited. Sadly there were not a lot of waterbirds about as the lake was quite full and still recovering from recent rains. My first find by the lake was a noisy family of Blue-faced Honeyeater. These aggressive but beautiful birds have an iridescent/metallic like blue face as an adult, and the juveniles have a yellowish face which becomes green when they are immature, eventually turning blue at maturity. This noisy little family chased their parent around from tree to tree, attempting to avoid my presence, or maybe just trying to have timeout from their noisy hungry kiddies.

Family of Blue-faced Honeyeater

These large honeyeaters thrive on eucalypt blossom nectar, in this case from the flowering River Gum (eucalypts) and insects, as well as small berries. They are found mainly in the eastern states inland over the ranges, and more infrequently on the coast. There are three races, this one is the nominate race cyanotis. The lesser two are found in the far north of Australia, where we saw race albipenis in the Kimberley region we visited in July last year. Click on photo to enlarge it.

Below is an image of race albipenis from The Kimberley region in July last year. This race has a slightly longer beak and has white under its primaries whereas cyanotis has cinamon pink.

In the same area near the lake I saw the Dusky Woodswallow, which are always seen nesting here. I saw their nest here on a recent visit. The parents were preening, and then bringing food to their two babies in their tiny nest, well hidden in a small tree beside the lake, which is handy for water. These birds are insectivorous ans similar to Swallows, catch insects on the fly. They are also amazing gliders, spreading their wings and gliding down, after flying up high. As they glide down they catch insects.

Here is some nest footage of the parent bringing in an insect for the second baby on the right.

Feeding time.

Also in the trees nearby this pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoo were lovingly preening each other, as Cockies do.


Have a wonderful week and enjoy birding. Maybe introduce a friend or family member who has never done it before. We are having our granddaughter stay for a few days next week and she is looking forward to going bird watching and using binoculars, as her brother did during his stay recently. This will be her first visit to stay on her own, as she is the youngest, and the boys have all been several times now and enjoyed their time with us.

A warm welcome to you If this is your first visit to my blog and website, take a few minutes to check out my pages on birding and Aussie raptors from my Home Page.

Check out my 2 book releases, they not only introduce you to our amazing Australian birds and their unique ways of doing life, each bird suggests ways for us all to do life better and make wise life choices.

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To introduce people to our amazing Australian Birds

To learn from them better ways of living a healthy happy life

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© W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

16 Comments »

  1. Hello Ash,
    It is good to see the Sparrowhawk fledglings doing so well (although it must be terrifying for the smaller birds). It really is a privilege to witness some key moments as they grow and mature into adult birds. Seeing the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo couple lovingly preening each other never ceases to bring a smile.

    Our winter birding has been dismal and the eerie silence continues here too. It was a real joy to read your post on this cold and rainy morning. May you and your wife have a blessed week and hope to update you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Takami, sorry to take so long to reply as my granddaughter and us are enjoying full on time together exploring the city and birding. Sad to read that you are having a poor birding season also, it seems to be affecting many areas world wide. Enjoy your week my friend.

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  2. Great series on the Sparrowhawk. They certainly are the most ruthless of hunters.
    The young ones we’ve been following have taken to playing some form of hideandseek game among the pines. Lots of calling if one of them if ‘found’.

    Great to see the Dusky Woodswallows. We’ve again not had a season for them. All the usual spots are empty. I guess the weather and the water have played a huge part in their travels.
    We explored one place today and found good numbers of Rainbow Bee-eaters that have nested and are now feeing their fledged young. How quickly it all happens

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, interesting how they are playing as youngsters, training in their stealth. I am always blessed to see the Duskies in the same group of trees all year round by the lake, and so handy being just about 100 m from the house where we visit by the lake.

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