'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

The Benefits of not Cleaning.

A Piwakawaka came inside yesterday.  How delightful!

This North Island fantail's Latin name is Rhipidura fulginosa placibilis.  (I never learnt Latin but it looks like 'something, sooty, placid temperament' - the 'placibilis' indicates the North Island version of this bird).

I've noticed a pair for some weeks now.  They have a favorite low branch of a particular tree and are usually there.  We haven't had fantails for years in the garden, but these two have clearly established their territory here.

Piwakawaka are insectivores, and they have a habit of closely following humans as we lumber through the bush.  This endears them to us as they seem so friendly.  In fact they are just catching the insects we are stirring up.

This one was completely at home (ha ha) and twittered and cheeped, moving constantly, flitting from the light fittings to the curtain rail, and up into the corners, eating all the spiders my poor eyesight had missed.*

Son takes a picture.  Look how close you can get.

If you enlarge this image you can just make out its sensitive whiskers.
Please avoid noticing the cobwebs.

* My story and I'm sticking to it.

PS.  For a nice little clip (not mine) of a fantail singing its cheery song : Go  Here.


  1. I much prefer piwakawaka to Rhipidura fulginosa placibilis, which sounds like a contagious disease.

    Thank goodness our fine feathered friend found the open window before its droppings became more noticeable than your cobwebs.

  2. Can I borrow one to eat my spiders?

  3. Spider eaters could catch on big here...:)

  4. I was about to ask whether you'd managed to persuade the bird outside again, but your video answered my question.

  5. Who needs to employ Maori cleaners when you've got a Rhipidura fulginosa placibilis? May I just inform your adoring public that when I visited the De Chevalle residence there was not a cobweb or speck of dust to be seen anywhere!

  6. Robert - it did leave a single minuscule present...
    Antonia - send a SAE and I'll do my best, but they don't stay still very long :-)
    Jinksy - SAE - see above.
    SP - This little bird knew exactly how to get out. It wasn't like the accidental visits made by the likes of starlings down the chimney etc., and their subsequent mad self-battering. Actually I should have left the window closed; the Maori say they should be encouraged to go out the front door, as it's better luck. They also used to believe that when fantails come inside that means some significant news will be coming soon.
    YP - You either have a poor memory or bad eyesight, or both. But, thank you.

  7. I read the next blog post before this one. Silly me. So see the comment to that one for the comment to this one. ...er...I think.

    1. Geeb, I read your comment on my next post before I read your comment on this post, and I assumed you meant it to refer to the video on the next post, rather than that video on this post, and I wrote this comment after I explained that the next post's video wasn't mine, assuming that was what you meant, but now I wonder if you actually were referring to the video on this post. If you were, that's fine, and if not, I expect you will have understood by now that the video on the next post isn't my video, but that the video on this post is mine, but just in case other people don't realize this, I've added a wee note just before the video on the next post clarifying that it isn't mine, in case they get to that post before they see the little note at the bottom of this post explaining that the video in the later post isn't mine.

    2. You are just sooooo funny, Katherine. Now your readers of the next post who haven't read this post first because they've already read it before I commented and then you replied to my comment will think that I can't read or don't pay enough attention to what's been written otherwise I wouldn't have commented as I did.

      Stop it Edwards. This is getting silly.

  8. great stuff..... what a treat!!