Olive Backed Sunbird and Her Chicks

Hi all

Before I show you the Olive Backed Sunbird chicks, I want to say Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or Happy Giftmas, or whatever🙂. I hope everyone has had a good time this harvest end (or whatever the origins were). I had a very quiet day, which was good. I couldn’t get down to see family, and wasn’t really in the mood to go anywhere, so the dogs and I had a cruisey day at the house, tossing a stick and checking out all the stuff everyone else was doing via FB. T’was a nice day. I have a roast chook on at the moment, and I’ll do some spuds and pumpkin, and maybe some carrots as well. The usual bake/roast fare. But anyway, from one bird to another…

But first, something about the way I take photos. I *used* to have a tripod and I *used* to have a remote release. But they got lost in a car fire. Another story already told. Anyway, *all* of my images, other than the night shots (I put my camera on its back on the ground, or on a cushion) are hand held. With the images below looking inside the nest, I had to hold my Canon 1100D above my head, while balancing on a chair at the edge of the stone steps. This is why some are pretty dodgy stability and focus wise. I couldn’t use the LCD viewer because the angle of view was too sharp and the 1100Ds don’t have a tilt back. Plus, I couldn’t get high enough to lok through the viewfinder. I took a few test shots to get my angles right, then took about 15 different photos from various angles. I missed getting the pair of chicks into focus sadly. I’ll try again tomorrow morning when the light is better. So anyway, please forgive some of my oft blurred images. It’s a product of my lack of accessories at present, not to mention no real quality glass (lenses) like my Big Sister does. However, Roz’ talent isn’t due to having good equipment. The good equipment better allows us, the viewer to see what the photographer wanted to convey. My sister’s work is beautiful, emotional and artistic, and is technically superb. Good glass does not magically make a better photographer. They allow you to be more creative with light and shadow, and allow much better telephoto stability due to their much lower F stops. Combine this with an eye for a good image, and the passion to capture it, and you have an artist.

OK, so on with the Olive Backed Sunbirds.
These chicks are probably a few weeks old now. I checked the nest in December, and there were (now confirmed) Two eggs in the nest. The Mother (and at random times, the Father) has been feeding the chicks for over a week that I’ve seen, and they are much larger then the first sole chick that we had earlier in the year. We’ve been quite viligant in looking out for signs of the Brown Tree snake that sometimes visits along the rafters. Norm and I have a sneaking suspicion that the sneaky bugger took the last chick.

I’ve had a bit of a web surf to find more information about our close feathered friends, and see that Wikipedia suggests that their breeding time is May through to August. I’d suggest that is for Northern Hemisphere varieties in China and other Asian areas (I edited the Wikipedia entry…couldn’t help myself).
This PDF file from the Australian CSIRO covers a study of a number of nests near Townsville, some 500 Kilometres South of here. The birds were recorded nesting from August through until late November. I guess the weather is holding out for these two chicks.

This is the female Olive Backed Sunbird leaning in to feed the chick at the back of the nest.

Female Olive Backed Sunbird feeding her chicks

Female Olive Backed Sunbird feeding her chicks

…and here is the greedy one at the front

Olive Backed Sunbird feeding chick at nest entrance

Olive Backed Sunbird feeding chick at nest entrance

The shots below were taken while standing on a chair on the edge of the stone steps and reaching up with my camera on a sideways sort of angle to get a straight shot inside the nest.

This first one was taken to show the interior of the nest. It took about 4 shots to get this right.

Inside the Olive Backed Sunbird nest, showing the down covered base

Inside the Olive Backed Sunbird nest

The chicks were a little shy, until the flash fired, then they came up to the entrance

Pair of Olive Backed Sunbird chicks at nest opening

Pair of Olive Backed Sunbird chicks at nest opening


Olive Backed Sunbird chick at nest entrance

Olive Backed Sunbird chick at nest entrance

Olive Backed Sunbird chick peeking

Olive Backed Sunbird chick peeking

Olive Backed Sunbird chick in nest

Olive Backed Sunbird chick in nest

3 thoughts on “Olive Backed Sunbird and Her Chicks

  1. I too have some chicks this is the second I’ve had under the verandah . I’ve had a large goanna scoping the place it got short shift. The snakes well very few thx to snake defence and the dogs. I just hope the two survive as last year only one did from the two. I spend a lot of time just watching the sunbirds flying in and the nest too much time on my hands I guess, but isn’t it great I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great photos! Thanks for sharing.
    I have a nest in my garage at the moment which both halves of the couple contributed to building. Mother bird took up residence yesterday so assume that she has just laid her egg/s. Very exciting (although it does mean the car will have to be parked on the street for a few weeks!).
    I have a sunbird question that I hope you or one of your readers who knows about sunbirds – may be able to answer. From time to time a sunbird comes into the house at night flying around and crashing into things – clearly confused and distressed. If I turn out all of the lights it heads out again, but as soon as any lights go on, back it comes (we haven’t many doors or windows at our place :)). It spends many hours doing this – flying around and appearing distressed. Do you know why it does this? I was wondering – complete and absolute guesswork – whether it is distressed because either its partner has been killed or its nest / eggs / young plundered by a snake or other predator. It seems to happen at about this time each year (although I haven’t made note of the month in the past so am relying on my unreliable memory). Any ideas?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s