Settling In

Over the past few weeks our various baby birds have been gaining confidence and getting to know us better. At first when they come, they follow their parents around for food, then they try a bit for themselves, picking it up off the grass experimentally. (They have surprising difficulty when very young picking up their own food, even though they have already become accomplished fliers.)

Then, after a while, they start to 'notice' the humans and communicate - looking into the eyes, squarking, clucking, and even singing. Chuckie, our baby pied butcherbird, has become a remarkable singer, heaps faster than any of his older siblings, and can now sing strikingly beautiful melodies. To summarise, Butch and Cas have Chuckie, Maggie and Vicky have two bubs, Mindy and Monty, and our neighbour's magpies Billy and Polly have three bubs, who I call Huey, Dewey, and Louis (not terribly original, but then we don't see Billy much). Our beautiful greybacked butcherbirds, Larry and Harrie, have some bubs, but the track to their territory is now so well overgrown we cannot get there without mounting a major expedition, so all we see of them is a few times a week when they respond to our call and come for just a few minutes to say hello.

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