Taking turns

As I rarely put bird seed in my makeshift feeder, the Crimson Rosellas just keep their eye on it.  As the weather gets colder, I notice the wallabies are eating plants they’d previously left alone when the growth of grass and preferred plants was lush. Feed is getting scarce.

This morning one Rosey landed on the empty feeder and looked at me — or so I thought — through the window in front of my desk. ‘OK, OK!’ I agreed, ‘It has been about a month’. So out I went to drop a handful of seed in.


The Rosey had flown off to a very near bush as I did so, and then returned once I’d gone back in and shut the door. In a flash — or two flashes — it and a mate were tucking in. They were like two little clockwork birds, alternating the ducking down and the straightening up.


But then a third Rosey arrived; great flurries and a re-arrangement. It seemed only two birds were allowed to feed at one time, and those two kept changing. 

One feeding bird would rush at the interloper, return to feed, while the outsider edged closer and closer until it was deemed a threat again.

The process would start again, but it seems there is a fair play system at work, and after a time the newcomer was permitted to feed.