Other Stuff

Silvereye

I spotted a silvereye in my backyard just a little while ago, and chances are it has not long arrived from Tasmania. Apparently our local silvereyes migrate to the far north, the ones already there stay put, and the Tasmanian ones fly across the Bass Strait! Since I happened to be prowling about with the camera, I attempted to take several photos.  Nope, no good when loaded to the PC – couldn’t see the bird for leaves. [sigh]  Anyway, the one I saw looked exactly like this.

By Noodle snacks (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

By Noodle snacks (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

A bit of what Wikipedia has to say …

The silvereye or wax-eye (Zosterops lateralis) is a very small omnivorous passerine bird of the south-west pacific. In Australia and New Zealand its common name is sometimes shortened to white-eye …

… Silvereyes breed in spring and early summer (mainly between September and December), making a tiny cup of grass, moss, hair, spiderweb, and thistledown, suspended from a branch fork in the outer reaches of small trees or shrubs. They lay two to four pale blue eggs, and two (or sometimes three) broods may be raised during each breeding season. The eggs hatch after about 11 days, and the young fledge after another 10 days. The juveniles are independent at 3 weeks and able to breed at 9 months.

In late summer silvereyes gather into flocks and many Australian birds migrate, making their way north along the coast and ranges, foraging busily during the day with much calling and quick movement through the shrubbery, then flying long distances through the night.

Most of the Tasmanian population crosses the Bass Strait (an astonishing feat for 12 cm birds weighing only a few grams) and disperses into Victoria, New South Wales, and south-eastern Queensland. The populations of these areas tend to head further north; while the northern-most birds remain resident all year round.

Silvereyes are omnivorous with a diet that includes insects, berries, fruit and nectar. When food is scarce in winter they will take a wide variety of foods from bird tables, ranging from sugar water through bread and cooked meats, to solid lumps of fat.

I’ve decided to share more of the many birds around me without waiting for that magical photo of my own to happen. I recognize a lot of birds instantly from my Gould League days. I had a badge and took the pledge not to collect eggs. I watched my four brothers like a hawk.

I took on a bird-watching project for the Duke of Edinburgh Award when I was in grade 6. I made a large map of part of the farm where we lived at that time, right down to the creek. After school, I marked all the sightings of every bird on my circuit. You know, now I cannot recall if I ever handed in that project – I really hope I did! One of the first books I bought was What Bird Is That? by Neville Cayley.

Yep, I love birds.

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23 thoughts on “Silvereye

  1. sue ouzounis says:

    Beautiful – I bet you have set up a “hide” in your front yard to be able to get pics of all the birds. They are really great. Not going to ask “how’s the book? ” heh heh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve thought of setting up a hide, Sue.

      Book? What book?

      Just kidding. I am actually working on it, but before I write more – tying it all together – I’m working through the steps in a book I’m reading, looking for a moral premise if there is one. And there was, and the already existing controlling virtue and controlling vice can be applied to the story arcs of my main characters with a minimum of tweaking. I hope I know what I’m doing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These birds are so small and cute, I want to pet them. Thanks for the info, Christine. I like birds too. I learned to after I had a couple of budgies, first Sunny and then Cher. Cheesy, I know but it was fun.
    Keep those awesome photos coming. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to recognising birds — but we have raptors of all sorts down our way which even I can recognise! But please do keep photographing your birds, Christine: I love your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, I’ll keep giving you my own efforts, Paula – can’t let these great photos intimidate me. My favourite raptor is the black-shouldered kite, but I’ve never seen one here. Probably will, now that I mention it. They might not quite make it as far south as the Huon Valley. I sometimes see wedge-tailed eagles circling.

      Like

  4. Oh gosh me and you both! So glad to meet another kindred bird-nerd!!! This is a cool little bird and with such a swift life (breeding by 9 months!). Why does it seem so easy to set aside our bird loving ways?

    Good luck with your bird photography, it can be frustrating and joyful all at once. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bees have thinned out a bit with the cooler weather, and the wasps. And I’ve suddenly become crap at taking a decent photo of them. The ones I took of bees today turned out all blurry. Thanks for dropping by Elizabeth.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I love birds too, but, unlike you, I didn’t really begin to study them until the last 15 years and it has turned into an important hobby for me. I appreciate being introduced to new birds by you: the silvereye, so aptly named. I also enjoyed learning a bit about your childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

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