Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Blackbird fledging and defence

I had been watching the blackbirds collecting food for a probable brood over the last few days. My suspicions were that the nest was in the far boundary hedge of our neighbours garden. This morning they seemed very agitated.
When the weather is sunny, like today I like to start the day by having breakfast on the decking in the back corner of our garden. Both the male and female blackbird were in our neighbours Eucalyptus tree next to our fence.

While they did not seem to worry about my presence, other than giving me the occasional look, they directed a lot of attention into our neighbours garden. The male making the warning rattle "chink chink"call while the female made a more subtle "chock chock" sound which appeared to be directed at her young. My thoughts were that they had at least one youngster in the garden. Young blackbirds often fledged a day or more earlier than they can actually fly. Not too surprising if you have ever seen a female on the nest. Her body just about fits in the nest and the head and tail stick over the edge. The young blackbirds literally out grow the nest.
This went on for much of the morning. Mid morning the warning calls escalated. A magpie had flown into the tree. Both birds directed warning calls and agitated wing and tail flicking towards the magpie. The male physically mobbed the magpie until it flew away landing in trees a few gardens away.

However the male continued to mob the magpie until it flew away.

All day the adults collected food. Our at came across the garden and the birds rattled their warning at her. Our cat, too hot and bothered to take noticed carried on and plonked herself down in the shade. The male came right across the roof and shouted at our cat, whom responded by cleaning herself.

After about 5 minutes the male returned to our neighbours garden. Our neighbour found the location of the bird when hey came back from work. It was behind their coal bunker.

We kept our cat in over night as that would be when it was most vulnerable.

The adults continued collecting food until it was too dark.

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