Sunday, 27 November 2011

Not just any brown

There are quite a few in the Brown's family where brown and orange are the predominant colouring, but one stands out so much so that the male and female at one time were thought to be separate species. It is the aptly named Wonder Brown Heteronympha mirifica which is found in NSW Queensland and Eastern Victoria. When at rest, blending in amongst the leaf litter, both the male and female look quite similar, with only the lower surface of the hind wing showing hues of brown. However in flight or with the wings spread they could not look more different. The male is like many of the other Browns with upper wing surfaces orange and brown, where as the female is unlike any of the other Browns having almost black upper wing surfaces with a very pale yellow or white splash across the forewing. But try as I might, today I could not get a photo of the female with the wings spread, so she does look much like many other browns.

Had one of life's tragedies today when the newly hatched Lewin Honeyeater chicks were eaten by a young Lace Monitor. We have been watching the adult birds busy at the nest and managed to keep a Green Tree Snake from getting the eggs a week or so ago, but although I had chased off the monitor, once it knew where the nest was there was little chance of them surviving as monitors are very determined hunters of eggs and young and you can't be there all the time. ( I am usually loath to interfere but this nest was just at the front door)


  1. What an awful shame about the Honeyeater chicks - its horrible when something like this happens so close to home. As you say you can't be there all the time. Many the time I have chased magpies away from nests but sadly I know once they have found a nest they will be back when I'm not around.

  2. yes it is a shame but we hope the honeyeaters choose a less accessable net site next time.