You, Leave my Babies ALONE!

Went to visit the Jacky Nursery last evening.
Both parents are busy looking after the two fledglings, now ensconced in separate trees.  One little dude had chosen to fly in and land in a tree that White-plumed Honeyeaters consider “their territory”.

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Rather than offer a polite request to move on, the entire family, perhaps 6-8 birds immediately took on an aggressive attack on the little tacker.  Despite the best attempts by both the Jackys, the little bird was eventually harassed so much that it lost grip on the branch and had to relocate.  Which left it extremely vulnerable in its clumsy flight to the much more agile, speedy and determined Honeyeaters.

After about 15 minutes of harassment things calmed down, and it chose a small branch isolated away from the Honeyeaters.
The second one seemed safe enough further down the paddock.

Hard to show it all unfold, but here is a sample of the action.

One of two young fledgling Jacky Winter. They still need to be fed by the adults and their flying ability needs a bit more training.
One of two young fledgling Jacky Winter. They still need to be fed by the adults and their flying ability needs a bit more training.
A wing flap might be a great defence, but not when your wings are still growing.
A wing flap might be a great defence, but not when your wings are still growing.
About to be swooped by several of the adult Honeyeaters
About to be swooped by several of the adult Honeyeaters
Incoming. Unable to defend against the White-plumed Honeyeater sustained attack, the little dude does not offer much resistance.
Incoming. Unable to defend against the White-plumed Honeyeater sustained attack, the little dude does not offer much resistance.
Time to duck as the Honeyeater makes no concessions for young Jacky WInters. It loses its balance and must fly away, making it an even more vulnerable target for the villian. The adult Jackys work hard to give it space to find a hiding place.
Time to duck as the Honeyeater makes no concessions for young Jacky Winters. It loses its balance and must fly away, making it an even more vulnerable target for the villian. The adult Jackys work hard to give it space to find a hiding place.
White-plumed Honeyeater, the villian in the drama. They also have young in the area and are not only protective, but highly aggressive as well
White-plumed Honeyeater, the villian in the drama. They also have young in the area and are not only protective, but highly aggressive as well
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An adult, (dark beak) and juvenile (orange beak), White-plumed Honeyeater. Moments before there were about 6-8 young on the branches, all complaining for food.
"Stay AWAY from my Babies" A Jacky Winter in full cry.
“Stay AWAY from my Babies” A Jacky Winter in full cry.
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6 thoughts on “You, Leave my Babies ALONE!

    1. Hello Eleanor,
      Good point. In someways any of the little birds are about as harmless, and helpless as it gets. The Honeyeaters are in quite large numbers, perhaps as many as 4-5 adults, 8-10 advanced juveniles, and probably 4-5 recently fledged. So the adult Jacky Winter are outclassed, outnumbered and outgunned in the air.

      We dropped by this morning and the little one we found seemed quite none the worse for wear and had developed quite a length of tail since the other day. Good as.

      We’ll be away next week, so perhaps by the time we get back they will just about be fully developed. We’ll see

      Like

  1. Wonderful fledgling shots David! Surprising to find the young White-plumed so aggressive, but I have seen the way they dominate trees in areas. The white plumed youngster gives me a good idea what to look our for, as I have not seen one this young, as with the young Jackies. Thanks for your valuable contribution in educating us with great shots of such youngsters.

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    1. G,day AB,
      The White-plumed shown here is an adult. Sorry for confusion.
      The Black beak is a definite adult id mark. The young are a rich golden orange. I had about 8 of them in a tree this morning, but by the time I’d got the focus locked, most of them had gone. Will perhaps put one up with a link for you in the next day or so.
      Hope that helps.

      Jacky looked none the worse for wear this morning.

      Liked by 1 person

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