Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

A most exciting pergola nester!

Posted on 22 November, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Landholders Steve and Sue Harrisson of Joyces Creek in Central Victoria are delighted to report that Diamond Firetails are nesting in the climbing rose on their pergola!

The Harrisson’s property is a mix of open paddocks, large old remnant trees, and dense wattles and other shrubs from direct seeding. The property has a long-term Connecting Country bird monitoring survey site, and Diamond Firetails have been observed on occasion. One year they bred down near a small dam.

Diamond Firetails often nest in dense or prickly native shrubs such as Hedge Wattle. But this year, at the Harrissons, the enterprising little finches have decided that a rose vine draped across a pergola provides the same function as a prickly shrub.

A view of the nest from below

Steve says ‘Judging by the amount of noise coming from the nest when the adults arrive with food, there must be more than one nestling. Very exciting!’

Such excellent cover – the adult Diamond Firetail is very safe as it visits the nest.

Diamond Firetails are declining throughout their range. These finches need access to fresh water and plenty of mature grasses for seeds and for nesting, so drought is especially hard on them. Steve and Sue are very pleased that their home is providing habitat for this very attractive threatened species.

The nest is a roughly spherical shape, finely woven with delicate grasses, flowers and slender branches.

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