“An abode without birds is like a meat without seasoning.”
~ The Harivansa
Here in Australia, the Apostle Bird can be found ... often in groups of twelve … or close to twelve. Some people believe they're invested with lice, therefore a threat to poultry. I've met a few property owners who shoot them on sight.
I just love watching the these birds … true clowns in feathers and always willing to shout the alarm. Research indicates that they actually play a role in the control of lice and other pests ... the lice thing just another urban myth.
They're also known as Lousy Jacks or CWA birds (Country Women's Association = constant chatter) or Happy Jacks. They love to bath in rain puddles and have no fear of man nor his poultry ... feeding time they just jump in and eat as much as they can. During heavy storms they hide under Tea tree in front of the cottage. I now have a birdbath just for them, right under the Tea tree, in front of the cottage door.
A few days ago, late afternoon, I saw them high up in the trees ... upset and very vocal. Snake or cat, I thought ... carefully making my way to the tree. Then I saw them all staring to the west …I turned around to witness one hell of a storm approaching. A blue green sky … then one large lonely hailstone and all hell broke loose.
I don't know much about the Apostle bird's breeding habits. Although they are very territorial, I've never seen their nest or nests. It will be interesting to know how and where they construct their nests. The hillbilly neighbour is a breeder and keeper of millions of feral cats ... no friend or benefit to those of feather. I'll have to plan a massive cull ... I already have the game cameras in place.
I'm the protector of the Apostle bird. Last night during the storm, I retrieved the game camera … I saw a breeding pair of Wood ducks, with ducklings on the lower dam. Right in the middle of this cat colony. We have very few birds in this area ... no breeding plovers and very few of the smaller bird species. Cat hunting it'll be ...