Singing their lit­tle hearts out

POST Newspapers - - Letters To The Post - Mar­garet Owen Daglish Street, Wem­b­ley

I hope that pairs of ru­fous whistlers have suc­cess­ful breed­ing events this year. These gor­geous small in­sec­tiv­o­rous birds are listed as “thought to be de­clin­ing in the Perth re­gion”.

The strongly marked males are singing their lit­tle hearts out in the bush in Un­der­wood Av­enue, Shen­ton Park, and no doubt other bush around Perth.

Gra­ham Pizzey de­scribes the calls in A Field Guide to the Birds of Aus­tralia: “Es­pe­cially when court­ing, the male pours out im­petu­ous spir­ited song; com­po­nents in­clude a sharp ‘pliik, chik’ and a ring­ing, al­most ex­plo­sive ‘eee-chong!’, ut­tered singly sev­eral times be­fore loud rip­pling bursts of melody; also as­so­ci­ated is a clear pen­e­trat­ing ‘joey-joey-joey’, rapidly and monotonously re­peated on one level 30 or more times.”

The mark­ing of fe­males is sub­tle and beau­ti­ful. The fe­male in the pho­to­graph was hav­ing a good look and an in­tense lis­ten.

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