I’ve been following the growth of a nest of little Darter birds. Two have survived and are ready to leave the nest. I was horrified that as I approached the nest this time, the two little ones fell into the creek and disappeared under the water.
I lost sight of one and the other seemed to be very uncertain of itself in the water. It seemed to be looking for a way to get out of the water.
Then I lost sight of it too, and was really sad, thinking that I might have scared them off the nest too early. I went away disheartened.
I returned to the nest a little while later. It was still empty, but I eventually found both of them, enjoying the sun and drying out.
My husband reported that he saw them both in the nest again tonight, so they either clawed their way back up the tree, (have a look at the feet of the ‘baby’ above!) or they might have managed to fly up. I hope they don’t leave for a little while yet.
I’m following the growth of these Darters in a nest close to my house. They are becoming more adventurous and were out of the nest as I approached. They scrambled back to the nest and were more interested in waiting for mum to return than to bother about me. Mum was sitting on a log watching, and didn’t come by while I was waiting.
They are still downy, but and really growing, gaining weight and strength. And they are still hungry!
They still look up, watching for a parent to return to feed them. Sadly, there are now only two. I noticed the difference between them previously. These two were much more aggressive about being fed. I imagine the weaker one got pushed out of the nest. They’ve grown so much, there really isn’t any room in it for another one. They are still so soft and downy looking.
A family of Australasian Darters has a nest on the water’s edge very close to our house. I spent some time watching their behaviour and was lucky enough to get close enough to get some detailed photographs.
I’m only guessing that the dark bird might be the dad. He took his turn feeding the young and looking after the nest.
Here’s mum, at least I think it’s mum, taking her turn to look after the nest. There are three chicks, two much more active than the third.
And here’s the family portrait. There are three very downy chicks in the nest. The parent birds had their mouths full and fed the chicks. You can see the chicks with full mouths in the pic above.
Some call it a snake bird. It’s more accurately called an Australasian Darter.
I love its beak. It’s like a spear and I wouldn’t like to be a fish in its path.
It looked impressive when it spread its wings and took to flight.
Here’s one a little further along the creek. It was eating in a quiet little spot. They spear their fish and eat underwater. This one stayed under the water for a long time. You can see with their long necks that stick out of the water, why they are referred to as snake birds.