Thursday, February 09, 2006
On The Move
It's about this time of year that the Yellow-throated Honeyeaters start to move. This move is largely a 'dispersal', often moving into urban areas. Over the past 20 years or so I've recorded them appearing in my garden early in February, mostly in ones and twos. This year they started appearing in early January. Exactly what this may signify, I can only guess at. In the Meehan Range at the moment they are particularly abundant, gleaning insects from leaves and under bark. They are also one of the numerous species bathing. I've noted while banding, that they are usually in moult at this time, and often have pieces of feather sheathing on their plumage, which may account for the frequent bathing. One February, my son, Matthew and I, caught and banded over 50 mainly juvenile birds in one net, in less than one (frantic) hour. Which for a species not usually (ever?) found in flocks, was somewhat surprising. For an endemic species, I suspect we know rather less than we should about Yellowthroats.