Tag Archives: Willie Wagtail

White-browed Fantail flying over a fountain

Weißstirn-FächerschwanzThe White-browed Fantail (Rhipidura aureola) is aiming for its future “bathtub” in low flight. A little later, the drops will splash for several meters. The White-browed Fantail had already bathed extensively in the shallow fountain a few minutes before. The feathers are soaked with water. The White-browed Fantail is obviously not afraid of water. Proper cooling is also important in the south of Sri Lanka. Birds should also try to keep a cool head and, on the occasion, get-riff of roommates living on their feathers. First the White-browed Fantail comes on the ceramic rim, secures and sips from the water in the bowl. The cool water feels good. Then the bird stands in the middle of the flat pool area. The water goes up to the belly of the standing bird. Then it’s time to plunge ist head, fling the water in a rotary motion and wait until the water drops come down again. Then fly up again with your wet feathers on ist stomach and spread the water drops in the area. Done!

For birds, cleaning and maintaining the plumage is an important hygiene measure and necessary preventive health care. The white-browed fantail, for example, uses extensive water and dust baths to rid its more than 1000 feathers of parasites such as ticks, mites and fleas. He whirls the water around. With a little luck, you might even Continue reading White-browed Fantail flying over a fountain

Willie Wagtail at a nest

GartenfächerschwanzRight from the boat in a loop of the Kwatu River (one of the tributaries of the mighty Fly River), we discover an open-topped bowl of the Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) which is also written Willie-wagtail. I have to photograph the nest with the 3 nestlings. We see how an adult Willie Wagtail has brought a dragonfly to its brood. Early in the nestling period, the chicks are unable to eat such large prey, but they are now fairly well developed and almost ready to leave the nest.

The nests of Fantails of the family Rhipiduridae in general are smooth, bowl-shaped structures. Both sexes contribute to the nest- building process, which takes 8-15 days. The first stage involves twisting spider’s webs around the chosen branch or fork to create a platform. The second involves building up the outer walls with rootlets, bark strips and plant fibers. During the final stage the whole structure is plastered with spiders’ webs, which are gathered using the head or body and then wiped over the cup to bind the materials together. The nest of the Willie Wagtail is comparatively robust and therefore usually built on top of a broad branch or other level surface.

Because incubation begins with the last egg, hatching is synchronous in Fantails, and as a result it is usual for all members of a brood to fly within a period of a few hours. Observations of this Continue reading Willie Wagtail at a nest

Gartenfächerschwanz auf dem Nest in Papua-Neuguinea

GartenfächerschwanzDirekt vom Boot aus in einer Schleife des Kwatu-Rivers (einem der Nebenflüsse des Fly Rivers) entdecken wir ein oben offenes Napfnest des Gartenfächerschwanz (Rhipidura leucophrys). Das muß ich mit den 3 Nestlingen unbedingt fotografieren. Die Jungen sind schon groß und werden sicher bald ausfliegen. Wir sehen, wie ein erwachsener Gartenfächerschwanz eine Libelle zum Nest  bringt und an seine Jungen verfüttert. Zu Beginn der Nestlingszeit können die Küken keine so großen Beute fressen, aber sie jetzt schon ziemlich gut entwickelt.

Die Nester der Familie der Fächerschwänze (Rhipiduridae) weisen im Allgemeinen glatte, schalenförmige Strukturen auf. Beide Geschlechter helfen sich beim Nestbau. Um das Nest zu vervollständigen könnten gut und gerne 15 Tage vergehen. In einem ersten Schritt werden Spinnennetze um den ausgewählten Zweig oder die Gabel gedreht, um eine Plattform zu bilden. Die zweite besteht darin, die Außenwände mit Wurzeln, Rindenstreifen und Pflanzenfasern aufzubauen. In der letzten Phase wird die gesamte Struktur mit Spinnweben verputzt, die mit ganzem Körpereinsatz über das Napfnest gezogen werden, um die Materialien des Nests zu verbinden. Das Nest de s Gartenfächerschwanz ist daher Continue reading Gartenfächerschwanz auf dem Nest in Papua-Neuguinea