The juvenile currawong’s wings (Strepera graculina) are not well developed for a real flight but enough to come down to our balcony for some food under the supervision of its parent. It still demands to be fed directly but gives a try and pick the food up itself even though its bill is not strong enough to hold it. Practice is the key.
Every week when the cleaners come in and put cat bowls outside in the balcony, we have visitors hop in to fetch some food from the bowls. They are pied currawongs (Strepera graculina). Although currawong are similar and related to Australian magpie, they have different personalities. Currawongs seem to be more cautious of human and never let us within three metres radius. Whereas we could be able to get closer to Australian magpies without a fuzz. However, when we leave some cat food for them on the rail to make a rapport, they come in regularly to get some take-away feed for the youngsters.
One day in late spring 2009 (around November in southern hemisphere), I discovered a pied currawong (Strepera graculina) nest on the big tree in the next door’s backyard. The squeaking sounds of infantile birds led my sight to one large area but it was not easy to spot it because of the camouflage surroundings of the tree. You could hear where the origin of the call was and noticed the rugged round shape of the tweaks on a branch corner but you barely made sure what it was. Until one of the adults approached the nest and started to feed the chicks. There were two or three in the nest. However, they were too small and too far to observe them clearly. I could only use the longest lens, aimed the camera to the spot and shot some frames with hope that there would be something visible enough.
Eventually the juvenile birds came out of the nest as they grew up. You could see they were still immature from their size, the shape of the bills, the eye colour (an adult has bright yellow eyes) and the fluffy feather on the chest and body. We left some cat food on the rail of the balcony for the family to have a feast so that we could gain their trust and some privilege to watch them. Of course, there is more of them.
I was a sucker for urban birds as you night find it in Birds Gallery on my old photoblog.