Bruny Island Birdlife - Forty-spotted Pardalote

 

Bruny Island is home to abundant birdlife, including all 12 species endemic to Tasmania. Some are critically endangered, such as the Forty-spotted Pardalote, the Swift Parrot, and the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle. All 12 endemic species are protected under Tasmania's Nature Conservation Act 2002.

Bruny Island is a popular place for bird watching, and has been named in the top 10 bird watching sites in Australia by Australian Birdlife magazine.

Watch out for the next Bruny Island Bird Festival, (date TBA).

Photos from award winning photographer Rod Hartvigsen of Murranji Photography

 

Forty-spotted Pardalote

The Forty-spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus) is one of Australia's rarest birds and can now only be found in south eastern Tasmania, including Bruny Island. The bird's name comes from the white spots that appear on its wings.

Habitat

The Forty-spotted Pardalote lives in dry eucalypt forests with white gums. The bird relies exclusively on the white gum trees for nesting and feeding.

Behaviour

The Forty-spotted Pardalote feeds on insects and manna of the white gum. They only nest in the white gum tree.

Conservation

The Forty-spotted Pardalote is under threat of extinction. The reasons for their rapid decline include clearing of land and white gums, competition from more aggressive birds for hollows in trees for breeding, and parasitic flies causing nestling mortality. In 1991, plans were made for protecting the species and helping it recover. A private landowner donated a 100ha property at Dennes Hill to be a nature reserve for the birds. Other landowners on Bruny Island have planted white gums on their properties. Nesting boxes have also been placed in trees.