As usual, ladies and gentlemen, I have far too many photos for my forthcoming July Changing Seasons post.  This is fortunate as I think this little bird, the weebill, that my True Love and I managed to photograph on a recent outing, deserves its own post.

The weebill, Smicrornis brevirostris, is Australia’s smallest bird.  It is 8-9 centimetres and weighs on average 6 grams.  It is a noisy little bird and you can usually hear the flight crew before seeing them.  They often frolic in the tree tops and it is rare to get a good look at them before they are off again at speed.

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©Reflections of An Untidy Mind (Tracy)

My True Love and I thought the weebills were so sweet until we watched one bash the crap out of its prey.  (Click on photos to enlarge)

You have to admire the weebill’s temerity.  We think it was feasting on sawfly larvae (colloquially known as spitfires).  Sawfly larvae excrete noxious and distasteful liquid from their mouths and therefore have few predators.  When we were kids, we stayed well clear of those seething masses of larvae.  What do think?  Is it eating sawfly larvae?

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©Reflections of An Untidy Mind (TL)

Sawfly larvae or not, our little weebill was delighted with his catch and was determined to have its way with the evil spawn, providing us with a few precious moments to take photos.

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©Reflections of An Untidy Mind (TL)

Gotta zip.

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©Reflections of An Untidy Mind (Tracy)

Kind Regards.
Tracy

38 thoughts on “Small And Mighty

  1. Glorious photographs Tracy. The Bee Hummingbird which weighs less than 2.5 grams is s part time visitor to Canada, and is listed as Canada’s smallest bird although it is only a summer resident.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lucky you getting those pics, I have never even managed to see them they are so fast! My understanding is that spitfires secrete eucalyptus oils that they have ingested, so maybe they don’t taste too bad! And yes, I agree, possibly a spitfire, although we grow them bigger over here in the West 🙂

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  3. Your little weebill needs a napkin. In its defense, most of us look much better with a napkin in front of our faces while we eat. I really love the photos, and your composition is excellent. What a fun window into your world, Tracy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sharon. He/she probably needs to eat with its mouth closed as well. 🙂 Glad you are enjoying your virtual visit to Australia. It’s warming up a little here so I’ll probably be getting out in the garden soon, or maybe into my outdoor art studio.

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  4. Awesome pics, Tracy! It really looks cute – 6grams! My, nature always amazes me. 😀 And good for the weebill for taking on this noxious larvae! 😉 Sounds like my kind of bird that stops for nothing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Tracy, I just had a look online at our public library catalogue and sadly it seems there’s no copy of Tim Low’s book. I will see if I can one in one of our university’s libraries (we’ve got 3 universities here in Berlin so chances are good ;). Otherwise it’s Amazon. 😀

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  5. That little Weebill looks quite adorable from a distance, but up close has quite the deathly stare! I’m not sure I’d want to meet it in a dark alley! The larvae didn’t stand a chance!

    Liked by 1 person

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