Sparrow and Finch Gardening Spot four unusual Australian animals in your garden before the summer ends

Spot four unusual Australian animals in your garden before the summer ends

There are plenty of Australian animals that enjoy the hot weather. You can find native Australian wildlife in urban backyards all over the country that want the heat.

Others require you to pay more attention. Keep your eyes and ears open for these seasonal visitors before temperatures drop.

Parasitic Storm Birds

You may have seen migratory Channel Billed Cuckoos ( Scythrops Novaehollandiae ) or Common Koels in your suburb if you live in the north or east of Australia. They are often called “storm birds” and arrive in Australia to breed during the summer before returning to New Guinea or Indonesia around March.

The Channel-billed Cuckoo makes its presence known at all hours of the day or night with loud, maniacal crowing. The Common Koel’s incessant and worried-sounding call is not very popular, especially if it is camped outside of your bedroom window.

The distinctive call of the koel.

Both birds are parasitic Cuckoos. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and leave the host bird to raise their cuckoo chicks. Cuckoos are more aggressive than their hosts’ brood and eat all the food. The host chicks can often go hungry because they grow so fast. Some cuckoo chicks look so much like the host’s young to avoid being found and kicked out. The adult hosts will raise a healthy brood, but the young are not theirs.

Watch for magpies, crows, or currawong nests and try to spot their fledglings. Buy some earplugs.

Carnivorous marsupials

Quolls, who are now independent and hungry, venture out in the summer. These nocturnal hunters are skilled at hunting insects, frogs, small lizards, and even gliders and possums. This cat-sized carnivore is also attracted to the backyard chicken coop.

Where you live will determine which species are in your area. Northern quolls live in Australia’s south-west. The tropics are home to the Northern quoll (D. The Eastern quolls are only found in Tasmania. maculatus).

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss, feral cat predation, or because some populations consume toxic toads, quolls are suffering severe area contractions. If you’re lucky enough to get these backyard guests, it’s a real privilege.

Quolls are sometimes portrayed as cold-blooded killers of poultry, but if you use mesh wire to protect your chicken coop from raids, they will be less likely to attack. If you want to catch a glimpse of them, go out after dark and carry a torch.

Unassuming garden skinks

You may hear rustling noises as you walk by a garden. You might see a metallic flash when something jumps from a sunny rock and into a pile of leaf litter.

The media is full of snake warnings during the summer. All of our native snakes become more active when temperatures rise. You probably have skinks of all kinds in your backyard, enjoying the warmer weather.

The skinks range from small garden skinks, such as LAMPROPHOLIS, to the more well-known blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides). Skinks are found scurrying around in leaf litter and basking on rocks. They can also be seen sitting on tree trunks, fences, or even trees.

Striped Skinks are efficient and fast predators. Skinks are mostly insectivorous and are, therefore, excellent natural pest control.

Use a reptile guide to find out what skinks are native to your area. Add some native grasses in clumps, rocks, trees, and leaf litter to the garden to attract more skinks.

Australia’s largest butterfly

Queenslanders may be able to spot Australia’s largest butterfly right in their backyard. JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA

The summer in Queensland brings with it one of the most beautiful backyard guests: the Birdwing Butterfly ( Ornithoptera).

Cairns Birdwing is the largest butterfly in Australia. The largest butterfly in Australia is the primus Euphorion. Richmond’s Birdwing is found from Maryborough all the way to New South Wales. Richmond is a slightly smaller but equally impressive birdwing.

The Cairns Birdwing is Australia’s largest monarch butterfly.

You may see a birdwing mating dance during the summer, where the female hovers over the male and flies from one place to another. The females lay their eggs under the Dutchman’s Pipe vines. You can inspect these plants closely to see if you find short, fat caterpillars that have an insatiable appetite (they’ll probably eat the entire vine). It would help if you only used the native Dutchman’s pipe vine. An introduced South American species named Aristolochia Elegans can be toxic to Birdwings.

Here are some examples of wildlife that you may see in your backyard. The changing seasons affect all kinds of wildlife. If you want to know what is happening in your backyard, go out and look around!

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