Endangered Honeyeaters

One day each fortnight a friend and I (hi Fiona!) continue to volunteer as part of the team providing supplementary food for the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeaters at Yellingbo Conservation Reserve.

 

Helmeted Honeyeater 3 - Kim WormaldHelmeted Honeyeater

 

Virtually every bird is banded and is known by the colours on its right leg; the bird above is Fluoro Pink/White – or could it be Pink/Light Grey – that’s the kind of issue regularly faced in the field as we work on data collection. The blue band on its left leg shows where it hatched, while the metal band is engraved with numbers which identify the bird should one or more of the right leg bands go missing or need to be removed.

During the breeding season we supply mealworms, along with the specialist nectar mix, due to the nutrient requirements of nestlings. Many, probably all, honeyeaters eat invertebrates and feed them to their young.

 


Heho - Kim Wormald
Helmeted Honeyeater

 

Dark Blue/Light Orange perched briefly on a prickly currant-bush, Coprosma quadrifida. The prickles can just be seen emerging from the base of the leaves, they are thin, long and deceptively sharp!

 

Agile Antechinus - Kim WormaldAgile Antechinus

 

The tiny antechinus, above, are exceedingly cute carnivorous marsupials but they try to raid the food left for the Helmeted Honeyeaters and are known to take eggs and nestlings. Bushes and saplings are kept away from feeding stations as these little guys are as agile as their name suggests and can leap surprisingly long distances. The buckets that we use to carry the food and the clean and empty feed bowls along with other paraphernalia, have special covers to stop the antechinus getting inside; apparently a volunteer had a surprise passenger in his vehicle one memorable day. Photographing birds has many challenges but these little guys are ridiculously speedy and its brief pause was welcome.

Happy birding, Kim

 

PS  My apologies that this post was late and that the site may look different than usual. At 1am on the scheduled morning a heap of site errors appeared from nowhere, at about 3:30am I gave up trying to resolve them. The issues are now in the capable hands of Joy, see links page, or if you live locally treat yourself to a visit to the Mt Evelyn market to see her beautiful artwork.

 

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