Esther Beaton


Outback birds take to nesting

The Outback when it is wet is amazing. When it floods and takes human lives, and livestock, then it is truly terrible. The damage caused by the recent Queensland floods was so so extreme because it mainly hit the heavily populated coastal towns. Further inland, the Outback towns are used to the river channels breaking their banks and most of the levies hold firm against the highest waters. In the Outback, the wildlife is especially prepared for inundating rains. In this case, they quickly spring into nesting mode.
I have put together a few web galleries. In the first, I’ve recorded the energy with which some birds greeted the deluge – nesting in or on every available branch, nook and cranny. The famous Dig Tree was hosting live-in residents, a nestfull of Tree Martins.
The cheekiest of all was the Zebra Finch. These uniquely Australian finches normally nest in scrubby bushes close to the ground. I found this mob at the Moomba gas fields viewing shelter, squabbling and taking over the recently built mud nests of Fairy Martins. I didn’t know these uniquely Australian finches were such adaptable little creatures!
You can view a small gallery of these pics here.

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