Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday - Red-browed Firetail

These Red-browed firetails caught my eye the other week. They were flitting around at a park-type place near home.

Birds in Backyards have some info here if you're looking for more.

They say these birds are easily recognisable because of their red rump, eyebrow and beak. So, I might remember what they are next time I see them!!

The brilliant red is what caught my eye. They're tiny birds, and so unless you see the red, they could flit right past me. They're a bit like the male Superb Wrens with their dash of blue - the brown females fly all around without me getting excited, but once that dash of blue appears, out comes the camera!

The red-browed firetails do shared parenting duties of nest building, incubating eggs, and rearing chicks.

My trusty Pizzey book tells me that these belong to the family of Grass-finches. Grass finches are very social in non-breeding season and form large groups, but it appears that they have strong pairings during mating, which may last a lifetime.

It makes me wonder how people know if birds mate for life or not. Did they observe bird pairs and were they able to identify each individual? Were they tagged? Hmm...that's a lot of research to conduct!

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