White-bellied Sea-Eagle Nest 2

5 July 2016

Today, acting on a tip from a bird friend, I found a large nest. It is not as large as the one I found last month, but impressive nonetheless.

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I wondered if it was in use, and by whom. Before long, a White-bellied Sea-Eagle flew overhead. I crouched in the bushes, hoping that I was not visible from the air.

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I stayed until the sun set, hoping to see the bird visit the nest, but did not see it again.

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19 July 2016

After work, I went to visit the nest for a second time. Soon after I arrived, I saw a single adult Sea-Eagle circling high in the sky.

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It disappeared for half an hour, then suddenly appeared. It appeared to circle the nest tree but did not land. I could not see a partner, either in the nest or in the air.

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I stayed until the sun set. All the while, I could hear the continuous drone of construction vehicles ripping up the land for housing. The new roads and house lots are very close, but I don’t think they will get any closer. If this Sea-Eagle does have a partner, maybe they won’t be rudely pushed out of their home by human disturbance.

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As  I left, I saw the Sea-Eagle perched in the bare branches at the top of a tall eucalypt. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was watching the construction vehicles eat into its habitat, and feeling as devastated as I was.

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White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest 1

13 June 2016

I recently found a spectacular White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest. It is very large, and conspicuously situated in a tall eucalypt.

I found the nest totally by accident. As I was driving through a new development, I saw a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles circling. Although they were quite high, I stopped to take a few photos.

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As I was watching them, I heard the unmistakable honking of White-bellied Sea-Eagles. I walked to wards the sound and saw the huge nest. Then I saw the  Sea-Eagles in a nearby tree.
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I will never forget my shock and delight at finding a nest. I have seen many Sea-Eagles over the years, including juveniles, but never a nest. I couldn’t believe my luck!

After spending some time in the nest, the Sea-Eagles flew to a nearby tree and started honking again.

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Then they mated. It was brief but I was stunned to have such luck.

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16 June 2016

I went to visit the nest late this afternoon. No birds, but nice light!

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24 June 2016

Another visit and no birds. I’m wondering if they have another nest.

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25 June 2016

No birds in the nest, but I did see one flying over a nearby swamp. I heard them calling from the other side of it a bit later.

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9 July 2016

When I arrived, I saw the Wedge-tailed Eagles. I think they had been upsetting the White-bellied Sea-Eagles, who were honking.

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As I crept towards the nest, I suddenly realised that the White-bellied Sea-Eagles were sitting on a branch not far away. I sank down behind a post and watched them. They sat there for a good 20 minutes, just calmly looking around.

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Eventually they flew off over the swamp, which is in the opposite direction to the nest.

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NEO 2015

Although I haven’t taken a photo every day, I am delighted to welcome a new cockatiel into our home.When Sparkles was nearly ready to leave the box, Num and Jo Jo started mating again.

Tuesday 8 September 2015 -1-5 pm. FIRST EGG! Both started incubating immediately

Thursday 10 September  2015 -1-7 pm. SECOND EGG!

Tuesday 15 September 2015 – THIRD EGG!

Friday 25 September 2015 – Middle of the day. FOURTH EGG!

Sunday 27 September 2015 – FIFTH EGG!

Tuesday 29 September 2015 – SIXTH EGG!

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That was all, thank goodness! They’re so spread out, and Jo Jo was still feeding Sparkles on Tuesday 22 September 2015.

Thursday 1 October 2015 – Day 1 – A baby hatched! It could be the first egg 1 (late) or the second egg. The broken egg shell is visible behind Jo Jo.

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Friday 2 October 2015 – Day 2 – I got a good look at the baby.

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Sunday 4 October 2015 – Day 4 – Baby appears to be growing nicely.

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Monday 5 October 2015 – Day 5

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Wednesday 7 October 2015 – Day 7 – Baby has a huge crop

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Saturday 10 October 2015 – Day 10 – Sparkles has jumped back into the box with the baby. This would never happen in nature.

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Sunday 11 October 2015 – Day 11 – Baby Neo has grown a lot. I was worried because he seemed to be hanging his head a lot, but he is still with us.

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Monday 12 October 2015 – Day 12 – I can see Neo’s yellow crest starting.

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Tuesday 13 October 2015 – Day 13 –

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Wednesday 14 October 2015 – Day 14 – Neo’s eyes are red! He could be a lutino, like Jo Jo. There are pin feathers on the wings.

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Thursday 15 October 2015 – Day 15 – The bright yellow crop is much more visible.

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Friday 16 October 2015 – Day 16 – Yellow pin feathers are clearly visible.

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Sunday 18 October 2015 – Day 18 – Neo definitely looks like a lutino. All feathers are yellow or white. During the night a baby seemed to have hatched, but we found it dead and buried under the shavings.

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Tuesday 20 October 2015 – Day 20 Neo’s feathers are starting to unfurl and there are faint orange spots on his cheeks (since yesterday)

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Wednesday 21 October 2015 Day 21 Neo’s orange spots are easy to see now

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Thursday 22 October 2015 Day 22 Lots of feathers are unfurling on Neo’s wings, back and tail. I think even the last egg is now too far past its hatch time

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Friday 23 October 2015 Day 23 feathers are unfurling more, eggs are scattered, I think the parents haven’t been too worried about them for the last couple of days. Time’s up

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Wednesday 28 October 2015 Day 28 Neo almost looks like a real cockatiel; he’s Jo Jo’s mini me

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Thursday 29 October 2015 Day 29 Neo is doing lots of wing stretching and his feet are getting stronger. Hard to write this with Sparkles perched on my finger

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Saturday 31 October 2015 Day 31 Neo has the lutino bald spot

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Saturday 31 October 2015 Day 31 Neo enjoys getting out and being cuddled
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Sparkles 2015

In March 2015, my husband made a superb nest box for our cockatiels Birdie Num Num – aka Num – and Jo Jo.

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Num and Jo Jo looked at the box when it was first attached to their cage, then seemed to ignore it for a few months. Then they started going in and making the nest bowl.

Friday 10 July 2015 – Jo Jo put a foot on Num’s back

Saturday 11 July 2015 – Jo Jo put a foot on Num’s back again

Sunday 12 July 2015 – Jo Jo put two feet on Num’s back

Tuesday 14 July 2015 – They mated at 2 pm! And later in the day

Thursday 16 July 2015 – They mated at 7:45 am and 4:30 pm

Friday 17 July 2015 – Before 2 pm. FIRST EGG! Both started incubating immediately

Sunday 19 July 2015 – By 4 pm. SECOND EGG!

Tuesday 21 July 2015 – Middle of the day. THIRD EGG!

Thursday 23 July 2015 – Middle of the day. FOURTH EGG!

… and that was all; a clutch of 4. The chicks will take 18-21 days to hatch, if the eggs are viable.

Friday 7 August 2015 – Day 0 – here are the 4 eggs. I didn’t get a chance to photograph them as they were laid because Num and Jo Jo sat on them all the time. I’m worried that they are unviable because today is 21 days for the first egg. Fingers crossed

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Saturday 8 August 2015 – Day 1 – a chick hatched before 7 am, 22 days after the first egg was laid. We are thrilled and so are Num and Jo Jo. The chick has quite a lot of bright yellow down

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Sunday 9 August 2015 – Day 2 – Baby is noticeably stronger and can hold its head up for a little while. Both parents are feeding it. It can’t see yet

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Monday 10 August 2015 – Day 3 – Baby is doing well. Terrible photo because it’s a dark day

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Tuesday 11 August 2015 – Day 4 – No photo – parents didn’t come out together all day

Wednesday 12 August 2015 – Day 5 – Baby is being very well fed and has a huge crop. It’s growing quickly. It has cute little wings

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Thursday 13 August 2015 – Day 6 – Baby is growing stronger

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Friday 14 August 2015 – Day 7 – Baby is so much bigger. The crop is scary-huge. I can’t believe it’s been a week. It doesn’t look as if the other eggs are viable

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Saturday 15 August 2015 – Day 8 – Baby is doing well. Jo Jo is really pulling his weight. Num Num seems to sit in the box on Baby at night and Jo Jo sleeps on the top perch, then he takes a long shift in the morning

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Sunday 16 August 2015 – Day 9 – I’ve just realised that Baby is going to have grey wings like Num (mum). Jo Jo is completely yellow. I think I can see pink pin feathers on the ends of the wings.

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Monday 17 August 2015 – Day 10 – I can see a teeny yellow crest!  I can definitely see cream and grey pin feathers on the the wings. I think the eyes are starting to open.

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Tuesday 18 August 2015 – Day 11 – Baby has a splendid yellow crest. The pin feathers have grown longer and there are more rows of them.

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Wednesday 19 August 2015 – Day 12 – just look at Baby’s crest! It’s bright gold. I can see that there is grey on the upper back as well. I can just see the spiky pin feathers on the tail. The eyes are well open now. Baby is so big it has to lie beside Jo Jo

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Thursday 20 August 2015 – Day 13 – Crest is more obvious, pin feathers on wings are longer and have more than one colour on them. There are pin feathers across the upper back and tiny ones under the chin. Baby is walking around a bit, but finding it difficult because it has such a big belly.

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Friday 21 August 2015 – Day 14 – There are pin feathers all over now, including the sides of the face. The crest has a nice peak.

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Saturday 22 August 2015 – Day 15 – Pin feathers are longer, Baby is taller

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Sunday 23 August 2015 – Day 16 – We’ve removed the aspen shavings so Baby doesn’t eat them. He’s walking around much more. The white feathers at the ends of the wings are starting to unfurl. We can hold Baby – he’s so warm. This evening we removed the eggs. It’s 10 days past the 21 days for the last egg.

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Monday 24 August 2015 – Day 17 – It looks as if Baby’s grey is going to be charcoal, not soft grey like Num’s. Charcoal wing feathers are starting to unfurl and I think I can see the orange cheek! We’re starting to hold Baby. I tried to get a sharp photo, but I still won’t use flash.

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Tuesday 25 August 2015 – Day 18 – Baby sometimes hisses and puts wings out when I open the box, but doesn’t mind being held. Num and Jo Jo don’t seem to mind us holding baby either. More wing feathers are unfurling. It looks as if Baby will have light and dark grey in the wings.  I think Num is removing the waxy coatings so the feathers can unfurl. Baby is standing up more; the belly and crop don’t look as big now.

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Here are Mum -Birdie Num Num aka Num – and Dad – Jo Jo. Num is a pied with soft grey wings with white edges and a grey barred tail. Jo Jo is a lutino and is pure lemon with no grey. Interesting to see all the charcoal grey appear on Baby! Neither parent has grey on the face.

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Wednesday 26 August 2015 – Day 19 – Baby is enjoying looking out the window now. Num is still preening the pin feathers. More feathers are unfurling, towards the front of the wings and on the tail, which is getting longer. The wings are really long when stretched out.

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Thursday 27 August 2015 – Day 20 – Baby’s feathers are unfurling nicely. She seems to have a lemon wash through the white on her wings. We’ve decided to call her ‘she’ because we saw one banded feather in her tail (wild type females have bands on their tail feathers). Her tail has lemon feathers in the centre (the future long ones) and charcoal feathers on each side of them.

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Friday 28 August 2015 – Day 21 – More and more feathers are unfurling, on the upper back, chest and crest. She can raise her crest and is stretching her wings out. She has some little stripey feathers near her legs too.

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Saturday 29 August 2015 – Day 22 – Meet Tina Sparkles! More of the feathers on her upper back have unfurled and her tail is longer. Her crest feathers are unfurling and her crest is taller. The yellow and white feathers under her chin and on her upper breast are unfurling.

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Sunday 30 August 2015 – Day 23 – Sparkles has a lot more feathers now, but Num sometimes tugs them out roughly. Sparkles has some stripy feathers at the tops of her legs and a yellow collar and grey breast.She can grip around a finger, although she’s slow to change legs. She’s starting to walk a bit more. She flaps her wings really quickly sometimes.

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Monday 31 August 2015 – Day 24 – Sparkles looks like a real cockatiel now! Her crest is fluffy, most of her feathers are unfurled and she is just exquisite. Her legs are getting stronger and she is practising flapping her wings and nibbling on things.

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Tuesday 1 September 2015 – Day 25 – Sparkles looks as if she’s close in size to her parents – her head and body – but her tail is much shorter. She’s flapping her wings a lot and I keep finding the ladder knocked down in the box. Tonight when she was out Num and Jo Jo looked as if they were calling her to fly. They kept doing short flights, mostly together, from the lounge to the cage and they were talking to her and she was talking to them. It was like the galahs but the urgency isn’t there yet. Num and Jo Jo mated yesterday and today – Spring is here!

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Wednesday 2 September 2015 – Day 26 – I walked out into the lounge room to check on Sparkles and she had climbed up to the entrance hole! While I was holding her she flapped her wings like crazy and made a nice cool breeze. Num and Jo Jo mated 3 or 4 times today and Num looked like she was trying to make a nest bowl. She was pulling at the paper towel in the nest box.

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Thursday 3 September 2015 – Day 27 – I decided to take a photo of Sparkles in her box because she’ll soon leave it forever. Her wings are long, although her tail isn’t yet. She is gripping better with her feet.

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Friday 4 September 2015 – Day 28 – Sparkles has started investigating things with her beak and tongue so I gave her some millet. She seemed to know how to eat straight away. I gave her some fresh grass seeds too. Sparkles balance has improved. she perches well on my finger. Num and Jo Jo are continuing to mate and arrange the paper in the box.

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Saturday 5 September 2015 – Day 29 – Sparkles spent her first night out of the box in the cage with her parents last night! She did a few short flights yesterday and today. The day before she slipped off the box and fluttered to the floor. She loves perching on our fingers.

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Thank you for your interest in Sparkles. From now on, I’ll just post an occasional photo, as Sparkles won’t change in appearance.

Tuesday 8 September 2015 – Num just laid an egg!!!!!!!!

ROSELLAS 2015

30 May 2015

Looking promising for 2015! Eastern rosellas, with galahs sitting only about 2 m away near their box

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29 October 2015

The rosellas are still around their box. I heard their babies yesterday, but still haven’t seen any.

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Friday 13 November 2015

Eastern rosellas have moved into their box! Here’s Mrs Rosella

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and here’s Mr Rosella

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Sunday 15 November 2015

I saw one of the baby eastern rosellas!

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Sunday 15 November 2015

Here is my baby eastern rosella with mum on the roof. This photo shows the yellow bill of the baby.

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Sunday 15 November 2015

Here is my baby eastern rosella with mum on the roof and dad on a branch nearby.

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Galahs 2015

27 March, 2015

It’s that time of year! Mr and Mrs Galah were sitting with their new box at first light

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5 April 2015

Our galahs have a wonderful new nest box for 2015. It has two baffles, on the west and north walls, to stop the box heating up so quickly. They took to it straight away.

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3 June 2015

Mr and Mrs Galah are loving their new box. They have been housekeeping for several days.

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27 September 2015

First time in 13 years that rainbow lorikeets have looked at our nesting boxes. Yet they’re in the yard every day. I saw eastern rosellas inside 6 1/2 weeks ago so they may finish nesting in the next couple of weeks. I’d love to have rainbow lorikeets nesting too.

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25 October 2015

A little while ago I got my first glimpse of our galah baby 1/2015 aka Kevin. I wonder what they think the first time they drag themselves up to the entrance hole and suddenly see all the colour and movement outside.

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29 October 2015

I saw Mrs Galah munching on wattle seeds from the Queensland Silver Wattle I grew from seed.

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29 October 2015

Here is my newest precious baby, Kevin.

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31 October 2015

Kevin is looking good!

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31 October 2015

We know there are at least 2 babies because Mrs Galah just fed at least one baby in the box while we could see Kevin looking out. Here she is pushing past him to get out.

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31 October 2015

Beautiful Kevin

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12 November 2015

Presenting Baby 2/2015, Sheila.

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Friday 13 November 2015

Here is our first baby for 2015, Kevin, asking Mr Galah for a feed. Something amazing happened this year – there was such a big gap between Kevin leaving and Sheila leaving that Kevin returned to the nest tree with Mr and Mrs Galah! We saw the parents feed Kevin on a branch, then Sheila in the box and Kevin did some demo flights to show Sheila how to fly. And when Sheila left the box this morning, it was a group of 4, not three (Mr Galah, Mrs Galah, Kevin and Sheila) that flew away together.

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Friday 13 November 2015

Here is our second baby for 2015, Sheila, who flew away at 6:32 am today. I haven’t seen Mr and Mrs Galah since or heard them feeding. They’re not sleeping at the box tonight, so it looks as if we only have two babies this year.

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Friday 13 November 2015

This is a first – Mr Galah, Mrs Galah and sibling Kevin all waiting for Sheila to take her first flight (which she did 2 mins after this was taken)

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Galahs 2013

Each year we hope galahs will breed in one of the nesting boxes in our backyard.
When they do, we love to watch each baby grow bigger and stronger. Nothing compares to the thrill of seeing a baby parrot leap out of the nesting box for the first time and fly away with its parents.

This Nesting Box Diary, Galahs 2013, describes the first three months in the lives of Neil, Buzz and Svetlana.

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Galahs 2013