It’s that time of year again, when all male Agile Antechinus succumb to the stresses of reproduction, culminating in complete male die-off following their short mating period. Timing of this amazing phenomenon, resulting in a female-only population between breeding and birth of youg, varies according to location, but usually occurs in mid-late-August in Victoria.
A rare sight this month was a male Satin Bowerbird. Female bowerbirds are occasional visitors to our garden (indeed these birds are seen much more frequently in gardens than in the forest), but I can’t remember having seen many males. This male was very wary and didn’t sit still for long. He may have come in for a soft, tasty persimmon, though the Pied Currawongs cleaned the last of those up a few weeks before. A few minutes later he was gone.
The Narrow-leaf Peppermint (E. radiata) is a common tree in these ranges. Fortunately, many of the larger specimens were spared the axe & chainsaw during harvesting operations last century (most recently in the 1970’s) and are now important habitat trees. They tend to form fewer hollows than the gums (Manna & Blue), but large, old trees can still contain hollows big enough for Brush-tail Possums. The peppermint pictured has a DBH of 1.47 m and is one of the larger specimens in the forest.