Birds of Australia - species that build mud nests
Mud nests are durable and therefore valuable assets that can potentially be re-used. Even if not used directly, as a nest, they can at least serve as the platform on which to build one's own stick nest (see below).
|"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]|
Apart from various species of swallows and martins, for which this type of nest is typical, there are three additional mud-nesting bird species in Australia.
The effort that has gone into their construction sometimes makes mud nests the "bone of contention" between interested species. We have observed squabbles about nests a number of times. The audio recording below is just one example.
For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.
In September 2014 we recorded the following sequence of calls, when a mob of White-winged Choughs had to defend its nest against a mob of interfering Apostlebirds. A pair of Magpie-larks, who are always under threat of having their nests pinched by Apostlebirds, also joined the melee.
|mudnest_20140925.mp3||(NW NSW)||Squabbling over White-winged Chough nest||© MD|
Here some examples of indirect re-use of a mud nest.
When there is such a commotion as can be heard in the recording above, the situation is not always competitive. We have observed several species taking part in what might be described as "clustered (or semi-colonial) nesting".