Can you see her? This fig bird and her mate have built a nest in the pecan tree just metres from our verandah. Males and females are supposed to take turns sitting but she seems to have been doing more than her fair share. The nest has been riotously buffeted in a big storm, the noisy minors have taken noisy offense to the gentrification of the area, a goanna has had a go at climbing out along the branch, we’ve had a couple of 40° days and still she sits there stoically.
The eggs should by rights be hatching any day now. No doubt they will eat my figs, and my mulberries and nashi but mainly they eat native figs and rainforest soft fruits. And then they deposit the seeds pre-fertilized with manure.
We have a very magical little patch of remnant rainforest at the bottom of the gully leading down the hill from my place. The gully itself has some lovely big seed trees – native tamarinds, blue quandongs, deep yellowwood, sweet pittosporums, figs, hoop pines, red cedars – but it was logged half a century ago and it let lantana and rampant vines get a foothold. Most Wednesday mornings this year I’ve spent a couple of early morning hours with a Landcare group clearing lantana. We have thrown buckets of collected local rainforest seeds into the cleared areas but I suspect the fig bird will be much more successful than me at getting them to germinate and grow. So I’m glad she is breeding her own workforce.
And meantime we get the exaulting experience of watching for babies – wonderful in pretty well any species.