Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Autumn bird breeding and a pardalote nest box

Posted on 20 April, 2016 by Tanya Loos

From Tanya Loos, Woodland Birds Project Coordinator.

The summer of 2015 – 2016 has been a strange one; long and hot and mostly very dry. While some of the signs of Autumn are here, such as the arrival of Eastern Spinebills and other autumn migrants (as noted on the Natural Newstead blog), in other cases birds are still behaving as if it is summer!  Patrick Kavanagh (Newstead Landcare)  photographed this beautiful Common Bronzewing on the nest at the Rise and Shine Reserve on March 19. This is a very late time to breed.

This is a male Common Bronzewing. The female's colours are more muted. Pic by Patrick Kavanagh

This is a male Common Bronzewing, the female’s colours are more muted. Pic by Patrick Kavanagh

Patrick also reports frenzied activity around his Striated Pardalote nestbox – could they be going for brood number four at his place?! Pardalotes usually breed around September to February, with some records of breeding as late as March. Patrick has some beautiful photos of his Striated Pardalotes on the Natural Newstead blog here.

Frances Cincotta from Newstead Natives and Newstead Landcare has kindly sent in photos and building instructions for her Striated Pardalote nest box  – an ingenious use of recycled materials, and such a simple design, I think even I could make this box!

photo of nest for Spotted Pardalote, made by Ric Higgins for FrancesAccording to Frances:  “The pardalote ‘box’ is made of heavy duty cardboard roll…and so needs to be placed under the eaves, out of the rain.

It was designed and made by Ric Higgins who has apartment blocks of them under the eaves at his place at Yandoit, all occupied by Striated Pardalotes in the springtime.  You often see designs with a perch near the entrance home but it is not necessary.”

The design is featured below, and followed by a photo of the Striated Pardalotes gathered around the nestbox at Frances’s place in Newstead. Who knows – if you are quick and get this delightful home up and running, you might have a brood of Autumn pardalotes at your place!

Drawing by Ric Higgins

Drawing by Ric Higgins









Newstead (184)

Pardalotes at the nest box, pic by Bonnie Humphreys





6 responses to “Autumn bird breeding and a pardalote nest box”

  1. Lee says:

    Hi, I have a question. I live in the outer suburb of Melbourne and hear pardalotes in my area and have also seen a flock in a neighbour’s tree. I’m thinking of putting up a nesting box. However, I don’t have suitable trees to put them in. I am thinking of putting them under the eaves of my roof as featured above but just can’t imagine that the little birds will wander over to my garden and find these boxes. Do they need to be in my garden itself or is there anything I can do to invite them to the box (short of a Vacancy sign)?

    • Tanya Loos says:

      Hi lee – I know I replied on your facebook post but I wanted to reply to let our readers know that yes – if you have tall eucalypts in the area, there is no reason the pardalotes can’t spot the boxes as they move around their territories. Good luck! Tanya

  2. Chris woodhouse says:

    We have got a pair of striated or spotted pardalotes which have been nesting in some dirt that we need for the garden now and we don’t really know what to do with them as they will be destroyed if we move any more dirt could you tell us what we could do.

    • Tanya Loos says:

      Hi chris! Sounds like you have some Spotted pardalotes – as they are the pardalotes that love to build burrows in piles of garden dirt. Unfortunately the only solution is to delay your project until the babies have left the nest, or buy some more dirt to use immediately in the meantime. Feel free to give me a call at the Connecting Country office if you want to discuss further: 5472 1594, warm regards, Tanya

  3. Carol Barker says:

    Thanks Tanya and Frances. To add to your Autumn bird visitors, I just had my first sighting of a male Flame Robin two days ago. Sorry, no camera with me.

    • Tanya Loos says:

      Hi Carol, That’s lovely to know – the Flame Robins are such a herald of Autumn – and nice to know at least some seasonal happenings are staying constant. Here in Porcupine Ridge I know its autumn when the Golden whistlers move through my block on their way down to Newstead to be photographed by Geoff! Good luck getting a photo next time. : )

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