Spotted Pardalote nesting

Spotted Pardalotes (Pardalotus punctatus) are found on the block at all times of the year, except for mid winter. They are a small bird and spend much of their time gleaning lerps and insects in the crowns of the tallest eucalypts and so they often go unnoticed. However, we can always tell when they are around from their loud, repeated calling. 

Pardalotes have an unusual nesting behaviour: they excavate a burrow into an earthen bank and build a nest dome at the end, lined with woven grass. The male and female birds share nest building and incubation duties.

In the early days of owning the block, I had made a small mound of soil close to our future house site - although not with nesting pardalotes in mind! A couple of years ago we were delighted to discover that a pair of pardalotes had selected this mound as the site for their nesting burrow. So we were able to observe and film their nest building activities from our comfortable bird hide.

In this sequence a male pauses at the burrow entrance before ducking inside to do a bit of quick digging. He finally flies off in search of nesting material.

Here again, the male waits at the entrance before entering to excavate the burrow. Note that the second time he enters, he takes a grass stem with him for nesting material. The female flies in soon after. The birds typically enter in full flight like this.