Real World Gardener Eastern Spinebill is Wildlife in Focus

August 4th, 2013

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

Wildlife in Focus

with ecologist Sue Stevens

If I said to you there is a group of birds that belong to Megaphidae, would you think that meant that had something big about them? Mega after sounds big.

In fact, this rather imposing name simply means that this group of birds belongs to honeyeaters.

One of the smallest of these honey-eaters sings with one note when it’s perched, and only twitters when it’s flying.

Let’s find out a bit more about the bird with one note.

Louise who lives in the lower Blue Mountains, wrote in to say that this bird with one note, visits Louise’s garden quite regularly, around 8am in the morning and again in the afternoon around 3pm.

But, being a small bird, she hasn’t been able to spot it.

Did you know that many honeyeaters have is a distinctive brush-tipped tongue, which varies by species in length and is specially adapted to soak up liquids.
These birds lap nectar from flowers much as cats lap milk from a dish, although the birds' lapping movements are much faster.
When the liquid-moistened brush is pulled back into the bird's mouth, the brush is squeezed against the upper mandible to push all fluid out so the bird can swallow it.
If you’ve seen this bird, taken a photo, or want to know more about it, why not drop us a line. to realworldgardener@gmail.com or by post to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675,  or post them on Real World Gardeners facebook page, we’d love to hear from you.

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