Make a Friend of the Mad Fan in Your Backyard
During winter, you may see a very hyperactive visitor in your garden. This little bird is very agile and graceful as it pursues insects and catches them mid-air. The Grey Fantail looks a lot like the Willie Wagtail or Rufous Fantail, but it is usually grey-brown with two small white bars on its wings, white eyebrows and a long, fanned tail that gives it its name.
Grey Fantails live across Australia except for some areas in the interior of the country. Twisting and turning, Grey Fantails are aerial acrobats that are constantly hawking in search of food throughout the day. Its wildly irregular and erratic flight also gives it the nicknames of 'Mad Fan' and 'Cranky Fan'.
A Friendly Guest is Just Passing Through
In March, adult Rufous Fantails in southern Australia may have almost finished migrating north. Younger Rufous Fantails will be following them during March and April. During migration, these lovely birds often visit more open habitats including our gardens and parks, so look out for them.
You'll recognise the Rufous Fantail by what it's named for - firstly its gorgeous 'rufous' or reddy-brown colouring on its brow, back and tail feathers, and secondly, its fanned tail, which is almost twice as wide as its body. Unlike those other bird species where the male gets all the glory and impressive plumage, the female Rufous Fantail is just as brightly coloured, if a little smaller.
A sweet little robin will bring his beautiful colours and songs to your backyard, while also helping you out around the garden.
Male Scarlet Robins have an impressive bright red chest and a black back. Check out this video for a close-up look. The females are much less impressive in colour with a dull grey to brown coat but they are no less cute.
Silvereyes: small in stature, big in spirit
They might only grow to about 15 cm tall and weigh only 5-10 g, but these feather friends are certainly have amazing stamina.
Silvereyes can live for up to ten years, which is a long time for such a tiny bird. They can also fly extremely long distances when they migrate at the end of summer. Some even travel all the way from Tasmania right up to southern Queensland. That is over 1,600 km.
The Princess and the Lerp
During April, you might be lucky enough to be invited to a royal garden party by your lovely host, the Spotted Pardalote.
This gorgeous bird may visit your backyard this month, as it heads down from higher elevations in search of warmer weather over autumn and winter.
Make your garden friendlier for Superb Fairy-wrens
It seems unfair when one member of the family gets all the good looks, especially when it's the father. But that's how it is in families of the Superb Gairy-wren.
The dazzling blue plumage on a breeding male's head and neck and tail will catch your eye if you're lucky enough to have one in your area. These beautiful birds are not at all shy of humans and have been known to skip merrily among people sitting on a terrace or verandah.