Winners and weeds

A sighting in the garden today: brown cuckoo doves.  I’ve seen them here before, startlingly portly long-tailed pigeons, hanging out in the neighbours’ tangle of tall trees.  I spotted at least three today, one futilely hopping from branch to branch, doggedly followed by a stouter fella: I guess it’s breeding season.

I felt tremendously smug when I first saw this rainforest bird above my washing line.  I should have known better, having read Tim Low’s New Nature not so long ago. This is one bird doing alright out in the Anthropocene.  It’s a winner.

Brown cuckoo doves are spreading south from their usual stomping grounds.  I’m not surprised.  If I were a tropical bird, I wouldn’t mind it round Sydney at the moment: third warmest June on record, more than 2 degrees warmer than the longterm average – balmy!

And they don’t mind weeds either.  Apparently they relish regrowth around roads and logged forest, and lantana and wild tobacco suit them down to the ground.  Witness this shot of a cuckoo dove snaffling fruit from our embarrassingly giant large-leafed privet.  Privet tree.  Yes, yes, we are going to kill it off and chop it down – the Round-Up is in the cupboard… But reading Low has given me pause.  When we poison our oversized weed tree, will we lose our nifty rainforest critters too?



2 thoughts on “Winners and weeds

  1. Pingback: Going cuckoo | Berowra backyard
  2. I’ve been busy travelling and catching up on other projects so I am behind in my commenting. I’ve never seen these birds in my backyard so am rather envious. Like you, I have a few overly large “weeds” but since they seem to be very popular with some of the rarer native birds I’m hesitant about removing them. I always enjoy your entertaining and informative backyard updates. Thank you! 🙂

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