Nicely, it’s that point of yr once more and shorebirds are breeding. Hopefully all the migratory shorebirds that left Roebuck Bay earlier this yr have been profitable at breeding within the Northern Hemisphere and can quickly be heading again to our shores. In the meantime, right here in Broome our resident Pied Oystercatchers have been busy making an attempt to breed too. The header picture exhibits the brighter colour of the legs and payments of the Pied Oystercatchers throughout the breeding season. I’ve written many articles about our resident Pied Oystercatchers over the previous twelve years. I’ve additionally discovered to not depend my chickens earlier than they hatch.
Since I discovered the primary Pied Oystercatcher nest on Cable Seaside in July 2000 I’ve discovered that the eggs not often hatch as a result of predation and in the event that they do hatch then a completely fledged chick is a uncommon and great end result. Pied Oystercatchers do stay a really very long time and native metallic leg band and engraved flag marking on a number of birds has proven that many are over twenty years previous. The Pied Oystercatchers don’t begin to breed till they’re round seven years previous and should try and breed with just a few totally different mates earlier than they seem to cool down with a companion. With out particular person markings it is rather simple to presume they keep collectively in pairs, as a result of they do all look the identical.
This yr has been like different years with the primary eggs being laid late June and the primary chicks hatching just lately. The grownup Pied Oystercatchers are always looking out for threats from above. Black Kites and Brown Goshawks are a risk within the dune system and in addition sand goannas can take the eggs.
Continually wanting upwards
Once I discover these Pied Oystercatcher household footprints like above I need not see the younger, as a result of that’s sufficient proof to know there are younger hidden within the vegetation. The adults at all times warn the younger of an intruder anyway, so I stroll away content material within the data that they’ve knowledgeable them to hunker down. Sadly this pair of Pied Oystercatchers didn’t have a lot luck with their first try at breeding this yr, however they typically lay extra eggs inside about ten days of shedding their chicks.
One other pair of Pied Oystercatchers are nesting in a really open space that gives good views of surrounding threats. They’ve solely laid one egg for his or her first try this yr, however round Broome just one or two eggs are usually laid. It has been a really uncommon prevalence that three eggs have been laid. Offering shade is as necessary as maintaining eggs heat in our local weather. We’ve been having fairly excessive variations between day and night time time temperature this previous few weeks, so they are going to have needed to adapt accordingly.
Pied Oystercatcher nest in an open space
One pair of Pied Oystercatchers have chosen to nest on a rocky outcrop. The benefit of this nest website is that there are not any footprints main on to it. Once they stroll away from the nest they do not go away proof as to the place it’s. Pied Oystercatchers round Broome at all times lead you away from their nest websites or their chicks whether or not you’re human or a canine. It may be fairly amusing when a Pied Oystercatcher walks a canine away from an space reasonably than simply fly off.
Pied Oystercatcher nest on rocks
One other pair of Pied Oystercatchers have chosen to nest simply above the excessive tide mark. It’s a dangerous technique as a result of the truth that there may very well be a tidal surge with sturdy winds. Additionally the truth that autos are allowed to drive on the seaside means that there’s a likelihood that the nest will probably be run over. This pair of Pied Oystercatchers typically appear to love to nest with a rock, piece of coral and/or a stick shut by and it’s no totally different this yr.
Pied Oystercatcher nest at excessive tide
There are additionally quite a few nest scrapes which have been made by different pairs of Pied Oystercatchers. The nest scrapes are made by the smaller male hen, which she then checks and finally will lay eggs in. As soon as there are eggs within the nest they are going to then each share the accountability of incubating the eggs and feeding the younger. I’ve observed over time that whichever hen is on the eggs once they hatch will then be the hen that appears after that chick.
Pied Oystercatcher scrapes
You’ll have little question observed that there’s fairly a variation within the egg colour between nests and this turns into extra obvious the extra eggs you observe. Not solely does the egg colour range considerably, but additionally the markings on the eggs. The Pied Oystercatchers will go away the nest to feed on some events, however they largely stay on the nest right here to shade the eggs in the midst of the day and return inside a matter of minutes once you stroll away after you have found a nest.
our resident Purple-capped Plovers are additionally capable of conceal their nests very effectively and they’re additionally at the moment breeding. We’ve to be hopeful that a few of these eggs will turn into totally fledged chicks over the following few months and they’re going to then produce other migratory shorebirds be a part of them alongside our shoreline once they return from the Northern Hemisphere.