Breeding season is fast approaching for the Dusky Moorhens (Gallinula tenebrosa) who live on our dams. Filling you in on events since my last Moorhen post: one adult and one chick remained from last year, the rest having succumbed to predators. In the last month there has been lots of lonely calling by the adult, and the other younger bird seemed to have disappeared. A few days ago we noticed a pair on the dam (sighs of relief) but in the last two days a third bird has joined the pair … or rather is trying to join them. It looks as though it could be the young bird who was bred here last summer.
Yesterday I was awakened at dawn by loud cries and sharp squarks … I rushed to the window to see two birds fighting. Again today, very dramatic fighting, apparently by two females for the right to mate with the male. They face each other, spreading their wings and lying back a little in the water. Then they use wing flaps to propel themselves towards the opponent, lying back to strike and push with their very large clawed feet. Today the male was swimming around looking worried, perhaps trying to distract them!