Way up high, where the birds fly

There is an entire ornithological condominium in the Queen palm at this time of the year. We know this because it is also the time of year when we retire to our Darby and Joan chairs on the front porch for the pre-dinner drink, As we sit gazing out to the garden, the flurry of feathered activity in that particular location is unmistakeable. There is a lot of coming and going.

The palm is Syagrus romanzoffiana, a fine South American variety.

Syagrus romanzoffiana

The nests are way up high – a good fifteen metres or more. Sadly, when fledglings fall or are pushed out of the nests, they can not survive that drop and we get a few fatalities lying around the base of the tree. But every year, we are surprised by just how many birds are occupying their nest apartments way up high. Mark has better identification skills than me so I will take his word for it that there are miners, starlings and sparrows nesting in amongst the fronds but we have not managed to work out how many of each there are. These are all birds that have been introduced to New Zealand.

The rent collector

But what is the kereru doing there, I asked him as I zoomed the camera in on the unmistakeable figure of our native wood pigeon.  Quick as a flash came the reply: “Collecting rent.”

Our Darby and Joan vantage point


8 thoughts on “Way up high, where the birds fly

  1. Elizabeth Hamilton

    Very good joke! Congratulations. The kereru might be saying
    ‘Get out of my space,’ to the little twitterers while the palm could say
    ‘stay where you are little ones, we’re all introduced’.

    Apologies for being so corny.

  2. Paddy Tobin

    Birds in the garden are a fabulous addition to our interests. I enjoy our selection here very much – no such tall palms here though.

      1. tonytomeo

        Brent gets his groomed regularly to keep them pretty, which eliminates the old fronds before they fall. They really are pretty, but I would not want to be stuck with that expense as the trees get taller.

      2. Abbie Jury Post author

        Ours are now taller than the extension ladder we own! You wouldn’t want them close to a house or carpark. Those fronds have some weight in them when crashing from heights.

      3. tonytomeo

        That is sort of what I dislike about them, because I would not be inclined to groom such a palm in my own garden. Windmill palms and Mexican fan palms do not care and do not drop their fronds. (Old Mexican fan palms do, but I do not think that far ahead.)

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