About the Friends

My photo
Yellingbo, Woori Yallock Creek sub-catchment, Australia
Have you ever wanted to contribute to conservation of a threatened species? The Helmeted Honeyeater is Victoria's state emblem and is listed as: 1. Critically endangered (DSE Advisory List Of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna In Victoria - 2007) 2. Threatened (Victorian Govt. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988) 3. Critically endangered (Federal Govt. Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) Can people make a difference to this bird's long-term survival? We believe anyone can. Check out the 'Take action' button on our homepage (www.helmetedhoneyeater.org.au), then contact us for more details.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Education through art

Yellingbo and Macclesfield Primary School students are currently exhibiting work at Karwarra Australian Plant Gardens' Wildlife Art Exhibition. The theme - Endangered Species and their Habitat. You'd never guess HeHos are critically endangered by the number displayed at Karwarra at the moment! Also depicted are Leadbeater's Possums, Powerful Owls and many more species of the bush. On exhibition now until Sunday 9 November 2008 at Karwarra, Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Kalorama. Oh... and the professional artwork is quite stunning.

Artwork by:
Darrien (Helmeted Honeyeater's nesting) & Matt (Leadbeaters Possums), students at Yellingbo Primary School

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

BlueD's 2008-09 breeding year - parenting in the fast lane

20/4/09: With the breeding season over, it is interesting to see the bird's behaviour changes. Grey is certainly showing his dominance of one territory. BlueD and pink/white in particular are bustled off the feeding stations. Female fledglings disperse from the parental territory to find a male mate in a neighbouring territory. It certainly looks like Grey is 'encouraging' pink/white to disperse.

3/4/09: Monitoring over past weeks shows mauve/orange and red/dark blue missing - hopefully just temporarily. The remaining unbanded fledglings of BlueD and Grey have now been banded. Light green/mauve, pink/white and green/mauve are thriving and seen regularly.

16/1/09: Grey and BlueD fledged their youngster this morning at about 9.26am - wonderful! (One nestling didn't survive). This fledgling is banded mauve/orange. Things were a little quiet in the colony today, presumably because of a goshawk in the area. They are known as predators of HeHo's around Yellingbo.

11/1/09: BlueD has 2 new nestlings that are 4-5 days old. Her 3 older fledglings are still regularly sighted at the supplementary feeding stations.

19/12/08: The new fledgling has been banded with the colours red/dark blue.

2/12/08: The young chick has fledged! Another milestone achieved. BlueD was actively collecting mealworms for this fledgling this morning, cramming 3 into its mouth and then coming back for more as we watched. She's a great mum!

23/11/08: BlueD's nestling is now 2 days old. This is one of the critical periods for HeHo survival. At 12-13 days this nestling will fledge and be less vulnerable to predation. At 40 days, it will be almost independent and at 1 year it will be breeding. Life in the fast lane!

14/11/08: Nest No. 3 has 1 egg. It was candled today, showing that it's fertile. BlueD and the father are still feeding their two 43 day old fledglings. Busy times.

27/10/08: BlueD has already begun a new nest, her 3rd for the season, and is still feeding the 2 fledglings from nest No.2. (She was just practicing with nest No. 1 and didn't lay eggs). HeHo's can nest up to 4 times in a season.

14/10/08: 'Grey' is believed to be the father - Helmeted Honeyeaters are cooperative breeders ie aunts & uncles are known to assist with the rearing of some young. Good news today - both birds have fledged (left the nest).

2/10/08: 'BlueD', a female Helmeted Honeyeater at Yellingbo has successfully hatched 2 eggs this week, the first nestlings (baby birds that haven't left the nest) for the 2008-09 season at Yellingbo. Stay tuned as we keep track of this family group.

Image: BlueD grabs a mealworm to feed her young.
Photograph by: B. Tardif