April 30 2020 – How extraordinary, today we spotted our resident Wonga couple snuggling up together whenever they weren’t foraging or feeding their most recent chick, Spirit. The Australian native pigeons mate for life and we thought they were just ‘bonding’, but no….there was a lot more to it than that!
Ah yes, back on the wooing seat they have been using for several years. Hmm, an excess of hormones methinks.
BABY ON THE WAY!
MAY 16 – Nature took its course and we spotted one of the birds back on their old nest of twigs in a nearby cedar tree. How long had it been there? We weren’t sure, but definitely only a few days. What a strange time of year to nest. Perhaps they know it will be a mild winter, let’s hope so, for their sake and mine. I’m not keen on frost and snow.
MAY 22…..Oh good grief, quite a heavy snowfall overnight. That’s not a good omen. Here in the upper Blue Mountains of NSW we have a couple of falls each year, but rarely so early.
30th May – After recent frosts, hail and wind we wake to a sunny, late autumn day, and happily all is well in the Wonga world.
JUNE 2 It’s officially winter. Incubation for Wonga chicks is 18 days, so there may well be little ones snuggled under the parent. The bird does seem to be sitting a bit higher. They produce two, pure white eggs.
JUNE 6 – I captured a rare sight today….the parent birds changing shift on the nest. All done so carefully, and perfectly coordinated, so that the babies are not exposed to the cold for more than second or so. My apologies for the poor quality of the pics, but they are almost 20 metres up and I only have a tiny ‘point and shoot’ camera.
JUNE 11 – Finally, we spot a single chick. Welcome to a chilly world little one. And what else could I call you but….JUNE.
Next day the nest was empty. June has been brought down to a well hidden ground nursery, where he or she will be fed ‘milk’ for several weeks. Soon the parents will feel confident enough to bring the chick into the open. There is still such a lot of cold weather to come, we can only hope our special winter Wonga will survive and thrive.
Update – June 16 Today the male bird sat outside my bedroom window calling and calling for his partner to bring out the baby. No luck, but maybe tomorrow.
THE LIFE OF WONGAS
AND HERE IS THEIR DISTINCTIVE CALL.