Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wildlife on Wednesday ... Little Shrike-Thrush

It was only a little over a week ago that my hubbie noticed a little nest perched on one of the Duranta repens shrubs outside his workshop.  Upon closer inspection he noticed three brown-spotted eggs inside ...

... and this rather drab looking bird nearby.  She was telling him off in her own special way ... from the safe distance of a tall Tabebuia branch.
Hubbie rushed to drag me downstairs so I could join in the great discovery ... then both of us realised we had no idea what the bird was!  So, it was time to consult with Simpson & Day.  (For overseas guests ... this is the Aussie bird bible!!)  It seems we had just met Little Shrike-Thrush - Colluricincla megarhyncha.

Apparently it is not a common bird around these dry foothills as it much prefers to live in wetter areas like the tropical rainforest areas further north.  So ... we felt rather privileged to have made her acquaintance.

It has to be said that this bird is not all that spectacular looking ... but I rather liked this gorgeous little olive-brown bird with its' lovely pale cinnamon-coloured underparts.
It has rather drab grey legs and feet.  It's eyes are brown and the bill is a pinkish-grey colour.  Unfortunately the joy we felt upon discovering them and then sharing that discovery with our grandchildren who were visiting for the school holidays ...  was short-lived!  This morning I went down to check on the eggs ... and they're all gone!  Not a trace ... probably dessert for some greedy snake.  Mum is nowhere to be seen or heard either!  So ... it will be interesting to see just how long it is before we catch another glimpse of the Little Shrike-Thrush in our part of north-east Oz.


  1. Oh no Bernie thats such a shame. She really did have a nice colour of plumage. It sounds as if it was a snake as there's not even the remains of a shell left and he would have no problem getting up that bush.

  2. Rosie ... yes it was a real shame. I would love to have watched the eggs hatch! There were no cracked eggshells or evidence of being nibbled on ... so we definitely think it was a snake that's swallowed them whole. I'm just pleased the grandchildren didn't make the discovery of the missing eggs! They would have been upset.

  3. Bernie, what a shame that those eggs disappeared. Nature is sometimes cruel, so it seems to us humans.


  4. Well done. You always share such wonderful stories. The bird is indeed plain but you know it does have a certain elegance about it. So sorry about the eggs and hoping like you that she will return to the nest! I just have to link this to Adventure Tour Express. Thanks! Cathy

  5. Great shots of a sweet little bird. Glad you were able to see her and share her here. So sorry the eggs disappeared.


  6. Oops... how dissappointing. Your garden has snakes?

    Btw, neat nest and cute bird :-D Thanks for the great shots and sharing this story. Hope your grandchildren have had a fun and memorable time with you and your hubby.

  7. Aaron ... I thought she was rather cute too despite being a bit plain-looking.

    Eileen ... I suppose snakes have got to eat too!

    Cathy ... I've been on the lookout for the mother bird all day, but sadly, no sighting.

    Flowerlady ... it was so disappointing to find them gone ... but we were lucky enough to at least see the mother Little Shrike-Thrush.

    Stephanie ... yes snakes are a rather common sight here on the edge of the bush. Luckily most of them give our house a wide berth ... most! We had a glorious time with our grandchildren ... it's awfully quiet now though!

  8. She is very pretty in a plain way. What a discovery but sad that you couldn't see the eggs hatch Nature is hard to fathom at times.

  9. So happy that you were able the share the beautiful moment with your grandchildren. Keep watching, she could make another brief appearance or perhaps she is just relocating to another area of the yard.

  10. How wonderful to have a new visitor, but so sad she did complete her nesting. Maybe she will be back in another tree. Take care and have a great day.

  11. You captured such lovely photos of the Shrike-Thrush! I'm sorry her eggs were all gone today
    :( The food chain can be quite cruel. I hope she makes a new nest and lays another batch!

  12. That is a really sweet bird! Love that nest photo with the eggs! Perhaps the eggs hatched and this is a fast-fledging bird. We had a cardinal nest on the front porch this past spring, and they fledged on day 7 after hatching! I wouldn't have believed it had I not witnessed it.

  13. Nature can be so cruel. I remember being just as excited when we found our Flycatcher eggs, and thrilled when they hatched...right up until the nest was robbed by a marauding bird a day later. I was so disappointed that we didn't get to see them grow. I hope the Mum is nearby and finds a safer place to lay a second clutch.

  14. Sorry to hear about the disappearence of the eggs. It always happens .I hope the bird returns and builds a nest in a safer place !


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