|Positive ||RosinaBloom ||On Dec 14, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand wrote:
Silvereyes were first noticed in New Zealand in the early 1800's , and large numbers arrived about twenty years later due to an influx from Australia. Although a non-stop crossing of the Tasman Sea (a journey of at least 1500 km) is a remarkable feat for such a small bird, it is possible with the assistance of westerly gales, and perhaps resting on passing ships coming in. They live almost everywhere if there are a few trees or bushes. They are common in orchards, gardens, scrub, native forest and mangrove swamps. Once established, pairs sometimes stay together from one year to another, roosting closeby and preening each other. In early October both sexes build a very delicate cup-shaped nest with an inside diameter of about five centimetres and two metres from the ground. The nest is usually slung between slender twigs among the outmost twigs of trees, shrubs and vines. Nesting materials are moss, fine grass, fibres, hairs, (especially horse hair), wool, spider webs, lichen, thistledown or a feather or two. Between October and December usually three pale blue eggs without markings are laid. Incubation is shared by both parents, and the eggs hatch after about 11 days. Both parents brood and feed the chicks about every 12 minutes, and remove faeces from the nest, some of which they swallow. All the birds leave the nest about 10 days after the last egg hatches and stay together for about two to three weeks. Between 47 and 60 days the female produces a second clutch. By April most birds have moulted and are foraging in flocks in a complex hierarchy, the males dominating the females. They can be aggressive when threats fail, and will attack an opponent and peck vigorously. They feed on nectar, fruit, insects, caterpillars and spiders. The adults are predominantly green above, and have distinctive white rings around their eyes. Other names for them are White-eye and Waxeye. They often hang upside down when feeding from slender twigs.