While everyone in the northern hemisphere is enjoying all that winter has to offer as far as food goes, we are currently enjoying all that summer has to offer in the north of Australia. We are lucky enough to actually have some mango trees in Broome as “roadside” trees, so you don’t actually have to have a tree in your garden to enjoy the mangos. Luckily we do have a tree, but it is now too tall for us to harvest the whole crop. After we had collected the mangos that we could reach and brought them into the house to ripen we then started to enjoy a variety of birds eating the remaining mangoes that are too high to reach.
The Red-winged Parrot has been one of the well-camouflaged birds to visit and feast on the mangos, but it arrived noisily and spent a long time feasting on the mangos high up in the mango tree. The mango was not what we would consider ripe, but they are obviously happy to eat them at this stage.
Red-winged Parrot enjoying mango
A Red-collared Lorikeet came screaming out of the bush and flew straight to the top of the mango tree, also intent on feasting on the mangos that we could not reach. It also soon blended into the foliage and enjoyed the mangos.
Red-collared Lorikeet heading for the mango
Overnight the fruit-bats have been coming to the tree and invariably knock down the mangos from the top of the tree. This gives us the opportunity to open the mangos up and place them on the grass for the other birds that visit our garden. The Little Friarbirds that have been nesting nearby have been enjoying the mangos. However, when the Great Bowerbirds arrive on the scene they chase off the Little Friarbirds and continue to consume the mango themselves.
Little Friarbird enjoying mango
There are up to eight Great Bowerbirds that visit our garden and they are very good at imitating other birds. There is one bird that can imitate a Brahminy Kite very convincingly and another has almost perfected a Pied Butcherbird. On one occasion we thought we had a cat in the garden, but it turned out that it was the Great Bowerbird making the meowing noise.
Great Bowerbird enjoying mango
We do have one very unique Great Bowerbird that we believe may be a bird we first noticed in 2007. It had two legs at the time, but had a distinct deformed bill. It is unlikely that there would be two birds with the same condition in the area and this bird now only has a complete left leg. The bill appears to be continuously growing on the lower mandible and the upper mandible is slightly shorter than normal. It was very pleased to find the mangos on our lawn and happily consumed the soft flesh.
Great Bowerbird with a deformed bill
There have also been honeyeaters enjoying the fruit, but they are cautious of the larger birds and we also have native plants that are currently in flower and they are enjoying the nectar they provide as well.
We will continue to enjoy the mangos along with the birds that visit our garden!