White-throated Gerygone (M. Dahlem)

The White-throated Gerygone (Gerygone albogularis) is one of our rarely-seen Summer migrant visitors, though you may be familiar with its delightful, tinkling, tree-top call (listen here). Also known as the White-throated Warbler or Native Canary, it migrates to our Ranges each Spring, to build a nest and raise young, before heading north or inland again in Autumn.

These small birds build hanging nests, tightly secured to twigs amongst the outer foliage of a tall-shrub or tree. The structure, with its hooded side-entrance, is safe from most predators and a marvel of design and construction, though occasionally .. the branch breaks and we get to see the nest close-up..

The feathers and spider web covering probably help to camouflage the nest, As well as shed water and keep the inside dry. The entrance faces down to keep the weather out. But what’s inside?

The cut-open nest reveals an even more amazing level of order and planning: an outer-layer of woven bark, is lined internally with a thick lining of mammal hair which surrounds a cosy inner chamber of parrot feathers (Crimson Rosella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo). It’s a marvel.

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