I hadn’t even had the chance to open the lid when a raucous kkaaaaaaagggghh made my heart jump! I nearly fell out of the tree backwards!
I got really excited a few weeks ago when I observed a pair of Red-capped Parrots (Purpureicephalus spurius) inspecting one of my nest boxes. Red-caps are one of the 14 birds endemic to the south-west of Western Australia (meaning they’re found nowhere else in the world).
Since the first sighting I had left the pair alone as to not disturb them while they were moving in, but yesterday I was certain they were sitting on eggs. It was time to get some photos! I scaled the tree but was greeted by an aggressive warning call. Not only was the sitting bird unfazed by my presence, but let out a warning to let me know I wasn’t welcome! It’s so unusual for birds using nest boxes to behave like this, but great as it means they are likely to defend their nest site and rear young successfully.
I managed to lift the lid slightly to snap the above shot, then I left her alone. This will now be the second year that our most beautiful local parrot has called one of my nest boxes home. Last year a pair reared 4 young in a box nearby, but I was away and only managed to get photos of the chicks in their first week (see below). This time I hope to document them as they grow up.
Here’s a shot of young Red-caps in the nest box last year: