The Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) can breed any month. Earlier this year, a pair built a nest and reared two beautiful young at my parents’ place in Parkerville. And now ‘our’ Mt Helena pair has decided that April is the month for them!
A few weeks ago, we observed both male and female pigeons busily gathering sticks and flying to a protected spot in the parrot bush thicket at the front of our yard. A flimsy nest started forming... but suddenly they gave up and ceased to build any more, or lay eggs. Recently we had a few days of rain, and this seemed to trigger the birds back into action. Nest-building behaviour was continuous over the weekend, and today I observed the male sitting while his mate was off foraging in the backyard. He sat patiently all day, probably incubating one egg the female laid the previous night, nestled cosily into the stick platform that sat among the prickly, holly-like branchlets of the Dryandra shrub.
Later this evening I checked the nest, and noticed the female had now taken on the ‘night shift’. In the cold evening air she sat much lower down than the male had, flattened onto the nest with her head tucked neatly behind some spiny leaves, concerned only with keeping her precious eggs warm.
Having seen the bird, an ignorant driver could think it will fly off, just as any other bird might, and not slow down giving it time to get away. The Bronzewing, waiting until the very last minute, gets killed on impact before it can move. Minimising our impacts to wildlife can sometimes take a bit of knowledge about wildlife, awareness of their behaviour and careful thought.