Wattlebirds have been a long time feature of our backyard and I think we’ve had pretty much the same family, or pair, around since we moved to our country abode. I’ve always thought of them as somewhat timid, nectar eating, birds that prefer to mind their own business as much as possible. How wrong could I be. Wattlebirds are simply evil, spawn of the devil, in the way they have been behaving this last year. And I don’t think it’s anything to do with the virus we’ve experienced since late last year. We have two families as best as I can tell and both are right royal bastards when it comes to the other birds that live and visit our backyard.
It’s kind of odd that this has come about only this year, and maybe I’m somewhat at fault, as it’s only started since I began giving our meat eaters a bit of mince in the mornings and afternoons. Initially it was only the Kookaburras that came for the mince and then the Butcher Birds, followed by the Magpies and then the curious Wattlebirds. In fact, I was quite surprised that the Wattlebirds were even interested in the mince, as I was always under the belief that they were simply nectar feeders. That turns out not to be the case, as they are as much insect and therefore meat eaters as any of the others. But I never expected them to be such angry bastards when it came to sharing.
Now I’m quite aware that wild animals aren’t about to share things when food is about, but that’s more when food is scarce and it’s about the survival of the fittest. In this case, there’s really no issue about any of the birds going without and it’s only the Wattlebirds that are aggressive towards the other birds. Of course they defer to the size and potential agro of Kookaburras and especially Magpies, the latter who will give no quarter, but even the Magpies appreciate that they are on a good wicket and fighting over food is quiet pointless. And I have to say that, if anything, I’m quite aggrieved because of the way that the Wattlebirds attack the Butcher Birds which, quite frankly, are the most gentle birds that I’ve known, despite their name.
Now what really set me off with these winged bastards was not just the fact that they attack the Butcher Birds when it comes to visiting me when I’m out with some mince, but it’s the sheer bullying that they display towards a vastly smaller bird. Or maybe they realise that the Butcher Birds are my favourite and they hate that fact. Who knows? But anyway, today I also noticed that the Wattlebirds aren’t just bastards toward the Butcher Birds, they feel that they have to have a go at our Crimson Rosellas as well. A Rosella pair were in a bush in our garden, obviously finding some sort of seed worthy of eating, when one Wattlebird swooped in and sent one of the Rosellas fleeing. Shortly afterwards, a second Wattlebird tried to do the same to the other Rosella.
I’m not sure what’s going on here, as nesting season is now over. We’ve had all the chicks belonging to the Magpies come around, every day now; the Wattlebird chicks have also been around and appear to have departed, and the only ones that we haven’t seen are those from our Butcher Bird pair, which I really wanted to see. Yet still the Wattlebirds are acting like evil bastards.