In 2020, admittedly a weird year for the entire world, our resident Wonga couple completely defied nature. Instead of breeding just once in spring, they churned out chicks almost continually. We live at Blackheath in the NSW Blue Mountains, so this meant they were nesting through heat, driving rain, hail and snow. We think there were about ten chicks all up.
As soon as the babies were brought down to their ground nursery the parents were billing and cooing and producing more eggs.
It was quite extraordinary. I couldn’t help wondering how long this trend would continue.
Well, there is already a summer brood, but only one egg hatched, a chick we have called Solo. A gender neutral name is necessary because it’s impossible to tell whether it’s male or female.
The following photo shows the male parent about to fly up to the nest to take over parenting duties. It amuses me that he lets the female call and call while he takes his own good time. We only know this is the male because we have watched the entire mating process on their bench! He has a whiter head than his mate, so that helps tell them apart.
Here we go…better late than never! Baby Solo is just visible on the left, below Mum’s beak.
Off goes a relieved Mrs Wonga.
That first drink after a long shift is like the best French champagne. 🍸
And here is baby solo on the left. Feeding time….come on. I’m starving!
Nest morning I heard an adult calling and zeroed in to watch another nest change-over. However, I was in for a delightful surprise. What a precious moment it was to see little Solo step out of the nest, pause for a moment on a branch, then fly down to join his waiting parents.
When I walked down to the letter box I saw his parents scurrying under the maple tree, followed by Solo. Next minute he hopped up to the old fence…a little poser already! 😍
But when things are going well for a Wonga, they can just as suddenly take a wrong turn. While Solo was busy showing off, his parents disappeared into our neighbour Elisabeth’s place.
Keep going Solo. Can’t you hear them calling you?
OK, now turn left up that asphalt drive.
Not far now, get a move on little one. 💛
Next morning, and Solo is left in the ground nursery while the parents go on a foraging trip. Let’s hope they don’t make a detour to their wooing bench. This chick has no sibling to keep it company! 😨
Two days on and Solo has settled into the well protected ground nursery. Unfortunately the weather is miserable….windy, wet and cold. Good luck, I hope the sun shines on you soon. 😍
For a look back at the Wonga parents’ odd behaviour last year, CLICK HERE.