By Barry Lees
It seems we have 2 new friends. They are the feathered kind – a pair of blue wrens, or to be more precise, Superb Fairy-wrens. They have been turning up for a few hours a day for several weeks now . love
What intrigues us is their behaviour. They are like a couple of teenagers who have found their first love. He is dressed with dapper bright blue patches on his head, cheeks and upper back. She (the Jenny wren) is more subtle in soft brown with a touch of red eye shadow to lure him closer.
They sit on the window sill, then fly up to look at each other in the glass, bumping into each other at every opportunity. They repeat this hundred of times before flying off somewhere, returning later. Remember the delightful bump and giggle stage when you were a teenager?
Perhaps I shouldn’t admit it, but our house is a complete ecosystem with spider webs on external bricks, around windows, eaves and rafters. Spiders, insects and other creepy crawlies are plentiful. We have had some spectacular mud-wasp houses. Our ecosystem provides food for skinks, geckos, water dragons and lots of small birds. In fact, I am sitting at my desk now, watching the blue wrens about a metre away.
They play with each other, then fly up and pick at things in the cobwebs before dropping back on the window sill. They are so delicate and quick in their movements. Their time must be measured in milliseconds.
They have discovered the rear vision mirror of our car. They hang onto the window rubber then fly over and bang into the mirror, chirping at the two wrens there. They might be trying to frighten off the competition, or maybe they just enjoy the extra company. They do it for a long time each day. Strangely, they don’t mind us getting close to them, not like their normal skittish behaviour.
I rather like these visitors – I wonder how long they will stay? I haven’t seen a nest nearby but I hope there is one somewhere. Do they hire contractors to build their nest, or are they all clever enough to do so. Makes us humans look a bit stupid!
I have heard people say they don’t see small birds anymore. I think it’s all about the habitat you provide. If you have enough of the right sort of plants in the right environment, they will come. I your garden is small, perhaps team up with neighbours. There are many websites with information. “Birds in Backyards” is a good one. I urge you to encourage small birds. They are a real joy!