Friday, February 18, 2011

A blue wren minus his tail, looking like a blue mouse

Today, while watching a New Holland honey-eater land on a grevillea flower spike -- bending it almost doubled as it sipped nectar -- I noticed movement in the shrubbery below, and a flash of blue. But something looked wrong.

With its brilliant blue feathers caught in a ray of sunshine, a male blue wren pecked up tiny insects (sandflies, I hope) and then moved from the protection of the shrubbery to reveal NO tail feathers at all -- just stump, instead of his normal tall, erect feathers.

I was left wondering. Had a predator of some sort grabbed at him and instead of a bird, got a mouthful of tail feathers? Or, was the blue wren suffering an unusual moult? Clearly he looked vulnerable and out a balance -- almost like a blue mouse!

A couple of years ago we planted this group of a dozen or so grevilleas in our garden and already nectar-loving birds are visiting to feast on the blossoms and delight us with their presence.

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