A Stunning Song to Brighten Up Winter
Now that it’s July, you can start looking out and listening for a lovely winter treat - the Jacky Winter.
This bird’s rapid ‘chwit-chwit-chwit-chwit-peter-peterpeter’ can be heard clearly from quite a distance.
Right now these birds are looking for mates, and pairs are warming up the wintertime together. These cute birds breed from July or August, and sing constantly during this time as they fly high up in the air.
Jacky Winters are one of the only Australian songbirds to call so vigorously during winter.
A good place to spot this small, grey-brown bird is perched on a dead branch, stump, post, fence, or wire. They so often frequent these spots that they’re also known as ‘post-sitters’ or ‘stump-birds.'Jacky Winters are tiny birds that grow up to 14 cm in length and weigh about 15 grams.
Jacky Winters love low and mid-level perches from which they can spring suddenly to catch flying insects. They then fling back around in mid air at amazing speed and return to their original perch to eat.
Look out for them amongst parks, pastures and farmland, especially near open woodland with shrub cover and lots of bare ground. The best times to spot them are during their dawn and dusk feeding times.
If you go out to do the garden, don’t be surprised if a little Jacky Winter sits by and watches you.
They are opportunists that will dart out and eat up any insects you unearth. They’re very cautious though, so they may not come too close.
If you see Willie Wagtails or Restless Flycatchers feeding around your place, look out for Jacky Winters too. The Jacky Winter waits for insects disturbed by these larger and noisier birds, and swoops in to munch any insects the bigger birds don’t notice.
DID YOU KNOW?
Now that it’s winter, Jacky Winters will look a lot fatter. This is because they puff up their feathers to protect themselves against the cold.