New Holland Honeyeater Diary

A pair of New Holland Honey Eaters raised two broods back to back just outside our kitchen window. We write down our observations.

This diary is written with the newest information on top, as I am documenting live the breeding activities of a couple of New Holland Honeyeaters who have been nesting in one of our hanging baskets outside the kitchen window.

Possible third brood (21 Oct -)

As of 21 Oct 2022, we are seeing more activities outside our window. The same couple began checking out the basket again. This looks like a possible third brood coming.

On 5th Nov., mama bird began sitting for the third brood.

Second brood

So far, as of 21 Oct 2022, they have raised two broods back to back. The first was in July. Two lovely chicks. A month after they flew the nest, towards the end of August, the parents began building a nest again on the same site — I removed their first nest soon after the chicks were gone. On 19th Sept, same day of Her Majesty the Queen’s funeral, Mama Bird began sitting on her eggs.

Third week (10th Oct-)

Development:

I don’t need a ladder to see the two little beaks popping up. They are big enough to show when reach up for food.

The size of their little head is about an earbud for mobile phone.

Also, fluff fluff fluff! On their little head. The chicks began showing the fluffy down growing on their crown. Most adorable look.

By Friday they both have a decent coat of dark grey down all over their body. Their mother still sit with them every now and then for lengthy period of time during the day.

Night time:

Mama Bird still still stay with them during the night, it seems. I could see the white patch on the underside of her tail feather if I get the right angle to get its reflectance in total darkness outside our window.

Feeding:

Mostly done by Dad. Mom usually is away in the morning for longer time — up to an hour, possibly because of needs for a good breakfast.

Nest maintenance:

On a nice sunny day, mom spends lots of time picking the nest. Bonding with the little ones? I can only see the back of her. It’s definitely lots of nursing and caring going on.

I have always been worrying that the size of the nest is not big enough and that as they grow, the little ones may fall out of it accidentally. Today, I climbed my ladder and had a good look. I’m no longer worried. The nest is deep enough. When they are sitting quietly, their little heads are just at two thirds of height of the nest.

Death of one chick

on the Sunday, exactly three weeks after hatching, they were ready to fly the nest. We suddenly realized that there was only one chick left in the nest. The other one died mostly on Saturday, because we still saw two on the Friday.

We berried the poor little one in his nest on Monday 17th Oct.

Second week 3rd Oct

Feeding

Most of the time Papa Bird does the feeding. Mama Bird still sit in the nest a lot, and goes away for food. The weather temperature has been between 8-15 degrees. It rained for the last three days. It’s great to see Mama Bird stayed with the little ones a lot.

First brood

We didn’t record too much information for this one because it was a brand new experience to us and it did not occur to us that we should write it down. We were just watching and watching.

Sue

学而时习之,不亦乐乎!
Gather my wisdom while gathering my knowledge.

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