Bird in the Bibs

Don Patterson at Hillary Outdoors had an unexpected houseguest this spring...

Bird in the Bibs

In late October Don Paterson, who is the Training Manager at Hillary Outdoors, noticed the early signs of a birds nest being created in his Salopettes. Being a fan of nature, he let nature take its course and here is what he had to report...

"I first noticed the nest after working away for 3 days at the end of October. Over the following week it was added to but I never saw the bird. Thursday Nov 3rd the nest was lined with feathers and I disappeared for another 4 days. When I returned, the bird was brooding a batch of 4 eggs. She seemed only a little nervous that I had turned up. They are right next to the front door and I pretty much have to rub up against them to put my gumboots on in the morning. The nest is at head height so when standing there, the warbler looks out at me, eye to eye, less than half a metre away. She heads off for a feed every now and again and won’t return to the nest if I’m at the door, though she will perch within about of metre of me and nicely ask me to move away. There seemed to be a few of these nests being built around the staff village here at Hillary Outdoors. Another instructor had to move one out of her kayak helmet. Of course the nests are under threat from the shining cuckoo (pipiwharauroa), a brood parasite. It lays its own egg then leaves the warbler to take full responsibility, so maybe the warbler is trying a new evasive tactic. I am away all next week so maybe there will be some more happy faces to greet me when I return. I’ll keep you posted."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

 

"MISTAKE IDENTITY. Now that the lady is out of the nest, and the partner is around, it is evident that she's a tomtit (miromiro). Oops. I was misled by the grey colouring of the female rather that the stark black and white I was used to seeing. We had the chicks emerge yesterday and today the pair of them were busy foraging for tucker.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

 UPDATE: Don has since returned to his, and the Tomtit families, home and the bird family is alive and doing well. There are 4 healthy chicks and their parents are working overtime to keep them feed, something all parents can appreciate. They're chirping is lively and they're getting bolder and bolder, at times climbing onto the edge of the nest to see the new world around them!

 

We loved hearing Don's story and just couldn't help but share it. If you have a story you wish to share, please do not hesitiate to send it through with any imagery!

Thanks, the team at Earth Sea Sky.