Fantails at The Riverbank Homestay and B&B

My friend "Pi"
Just about the sweetest bird we will find in the bush and garden.


Just about the sweetest bird we will find in the bush and garden.

My friend Pi (short for piwakawaka) has been at our property for 5 summers and this will be his 6th.
It started with piwakawaka  when we first moved here but he passed on the next year and then while working away in the garden area sometime later a piwakawaka sat in the corpsma chatting to me and after a short time I started a conversation and it wasn’t long before I decided it might like the bin opened. That bird flew to the bin along side me and sure enough it flew into the bin when I opened it. How it knew about the bin I don’t know but the world of creatures is more complicated than we can appreciate. All these years later this little bird still has me under his control.

Working quietly in the garden I will become aware that there is a presence near by making wee noises. We have a chat about “waiting a minute, I am busy” to "oh alright come on lets go to the bin," and off we go, Pi flying beside me or just  behind. I guess flying behind me means he can pick up the odd bug that I might disturb.

Windy days keep him in the bush and I get a lot more done in the vegetable patch.
Working along side this  tiny bird has made me curious about the life of piwakwaka. Just how long do they live, what size territory do they need.

We are quite sure Pi only has two broods a year as by the time December ends he has the tattiest tale and is well into his moult, and seems to stop breeding. Which would make sense, moulting is not an easy time.
We have been up close when the fledglings leave the nest and sadly we witnessed the demise of the youngest of the four chicks, just a bit too young to fly, it seems it was left to fend for itself, as it was on the ground, needless to say it probably did not live long, it was a bit distressing but we have to be real about life. 

Winter can be a rough time for these little birds so we keep our compost bin well stocked so the vinegar flies breed, leaving the lid open just a little bit  keeps Pi well fed when I am not here.


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