Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Sly Scrubwren


Have you ever had a bird build a nest REALLY close to your house? I’ve had many a conversation with observant friends who have told me stories of honeyeaters and doves nesting in a lone pot-plant on their verandah. But nothing like this amazing find today...

My mum’s good friend, who lives at the edge of John Forrest National Park, had phoned to say she’d found a mystery bird nest by her back door. She has for a long time had many wrens, thornbills, silvereyes and honeyeaters living in the dense shrubbery around her house, so initially this wasn’t surprising. But the curious thing was, the nest was built between a ceramic plant pot and a wooden shelf in her pot-plant stand! When sneaking a peak into the nest to try and see what was in it, a blur of grey and brown shot past her left eye and disappeared. Charlotte wondered what species this was... and as I happened to be visiting her this afternoon, we investigated.

When I saw the bulky nest, a largish ball woven from grasses, leaves and spider egg-cases with a hidden entrance in the side, I knew it belonged to a wren or a thornbill. It was so well hidden, crammed in behind some overhanging ivy leaves, but I managed to poke my finger in and feel two small, warm eggs inside. Then, thinking back to some of the nests I’d found in my life, I had an inkling it was that of a White-browed Scrub-wren (Sericornis frontalis) - it was the right size at least and in just the right sort of hidden hidey-hole. But Charlotte hadn’t seen these birds near her house before, and come to think of it, nor had I. Maybe it was just a Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens). There were heaps of these hopping around the birdbath.

Then, just as I was doubting my gut instinct, a small bird hopped into view and perched on a plant pot right near the nest - a White-browed Scrub-wren! It chirruped with suspicion and hopped closer to inspect its nest after our curious prodding. Then, just as we backed away from the window, it returned to the entranced and popped into the nest. Perfect fit!

Another amazing little episode of the ‘barrier’ between the natural world and humanity breaking. As it should.

Click here to read about Scrub-wrens in Parkerville earlier this year.

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