The native hen couple came up the slope to the pond last year, seemed to like it. No dogs, not cats, just a couple of easy to train humans in the neighbourhood. Last October they had six chicks, and now six chicks again, hatched just over a week ago. They spent the first week in the pond area, near the nest, with the parents taking it in turn to run down to the slope in front of the house, collect some worms and run back to feed the chicks. A few days ago the chicks were brought down to the slope, closer to the worms. They spend the days here, eating and exploring and eating and swimming in the little ponds and every so often snuggling down for a sleep, usually inside mum’s feathers. In the late afternoon they return to the pond, a long trek for the little ones at this stage.
The parents are very protective, very vigilant ….. they need to be, last year the eagle took three of the chicks. The eagle also has chicks to feed. It is an endangered species in Tasmania, we are fortunate to have a couple nesting in the cliffs below. Today the chicks didn’t run away into the bushes when I came out with rolled oats, the parents didn’t shout warning “Ecks!!” at me. I’m hoping that soon they’ll come close enough to let me get better photos of them. This one I took from the balcony, four of the six chicks with mum.
Stonebow, Tasmania, Australia