With time various topics, most connected to the 'ancient ways,' will be covered. Some of these might be controversial in nature - you're most welcome to contribute.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Little Messengers ...

The Spotted Pardalote has been on my mind for a couple of weeks now.  I first 'discovered' this little bird while taking a break hunting pigs.  I sat against a dry river bank and this little bird appeared from nowhere, nearly landing on my shoulder ... then it was gone ...


I looked around and right next to my ear I saw this little hole in the sand ... next moment out came the little bird again.  I was fascinated as I'm only familiar with 'kingfishers' and swallows in Africa that nest in holes in river banks.  This little bird is tiny, only about 90mm long with very unusual colours.  More unique is that the holes they build their nests in are sometimes only a foot off the ground.  Any snake can easily enter the nest ... so what is their secret?

During the day they are rarely seen, as they feed very high up in the trees ... but they build their nests nearly on the ground and in the ground.  I have a pair nesting in a little whole in the wall of the house ... they breed there every year.  They have absolutely no fear of humans and you can put your face right next to the hole and they'll just continue their business.  How they don't get killed by predators is a mystery to me ...

In Africa, a few little birds played a role in my life ... 'little' messengers I called them.  Here Down Under, the Blue Fairy Wren and the Pardalote often 'talk' to me.

Today, something very unusual happened.  I gathered some sand for a job , in the bush ... the shovel disturbed something that looked like a rats nest.  I immediately just knew it was the nest of a Pardalote.  I stopped and searched for the hole ... found it.  As I've already damaged the nest I started with the entrance and slowly dug open the tunnel.  I found the most amazing little nest with three little eggs in it ... one of the eggs were slightly damaged.

 I measured the eggs - 13mm long.  I candled the eggs tonight, can't see that any is fertile ...

 Entrance to the tunnel on the left.  How this little bird dig tunnels of up to a meter long, then designs a room and a nest on the other end ... mystery to me ...

I've been feeling fairly off the last few days, a few things on my mind ... some heavy decisions to be made.  The moment I hit that nest, not even sure what it was, everything opened up.  I felt sad for the Pardalote, but knew it was not going to fall into a depression, nor sit in a corner crying all day long ... it's going to continue doing what it does best ... get on with life.  This little bird ... so small ... so many predators ... so brave and so beautiful ... never stopping, always moving forward.  No time to dwell on 'what can go wrong next?'

It is difficult to explain in words ... everything that zipped through my mind at that very moment ... the things that became clear to me.  The little bird on my mind for weeks now and today I found it's secret and the little bird showed me the way ... again ...

Video Clip of the Pardalote leaving it's nest.

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