BRIGGSY'S BIRDS: A striking little bird
THE striated pardalote is very small at only 12cm but is a striking bird with beautiful colours.
It has a black cap on the head with a white stripe above each eye that ends with a splash of bright orange.
The undersides are white with a broad bright yellow stripe running from the bill along each flank.
The wings are grey/brown with white edges and a distinctive red spot in the middle of the outside edge. Both sexes are similar.
It usually feeds in the canopy on the sweet sugary protective egg cases of insects called 'lerp' that it finds on the undersides of leaves.
They are unusual in that they breed during winter and dig a tunnel in a soft bank at the end of which they make a nest chamber.
This is a strategy that makes their eggs and chicks safe from predators.
They will also use small openings found in houses, piles of sand or soil in gardens and have even been seen checking out exhaust pipes on cars.
They will often display at the entrance to the nest to advertise their ownership and will defend the nest from other pardalotes who might want to move in.
During the breeding months it will call persistently with a distinctive 'tchip-tchip' that is repeated for long periods.
They are most often found in eucalypt forests but will also visit parks, gardens and golf courses in urban areas.
You can listen to the call at http://www.graemechapman