Thursday, 31 May 2007

Look out

I live in a new suburb. There are lots of trees but none of them are over 15 years old. We have no trees old enough to have developed hollows, so a kookaburra couple or a pair of lorikeets or rosellas would have to look elsewhere for a suitable nesting site. It takes a very long time for a tree to reach the age where branches begin to drop off or insects chew away at the wood so that birds can nibble away at the resulting scars to create hollows. Even a possum looks for the safety of a sheltered hole.

Another disadvantage of youth is the fact that young trees rarely have bare branches. And if they do we suburbanites feel the need to tidy them up, get out there with the chain saw and cut off the offending branches. I have the opposite reaction. I want to keep every bare branch possible, because it's astonishing how many times I see a bird sitting on the branch surveying its domain, keeping a lookout, looking for possible food sources.

My neighbour has one tree with one branch devoid of leaves. It's the only one in my immediate vicinity. And lots of birds use it. It seems to me that a bird is much more in its natural element sitting in a tree rather than on a TV aerial (which serves the same purpose).

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