A tweet tweet treat

Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
tdn starling stad
Five baby starlings have taken up residence in a Spotswood letterbox.

Relevant offers


Auckland Zoo's giraffe on the move Couple get their dog to film their wedding with the aid of a GoPro Lachlan Wasley, 8, exchanges birthday presents for food bank donations Marlborough bats to be serenaded by Australian choir Skooby-doobie-doo: 'The immediately screened out dog for drugs' Goats are man's new best friend Plucky penguins try - and fail - to stage a break-out at Denmark Zoo 900 attend memorial for Auckland school's unofficial mascot Meet BigBird, the orphan pelican who is 'just like a pet dog' Red carpet and fireworks feature in extravagant Southland proposal

The letterbox of a Spotswood couple is full to brimming this Christmas, but not with mail.

A group of starlings has posted a brood of baby birds to Brian Aroa and Ettie Burt who can't bring themselves to turf the nest out.

Mr Aroa has put up a sign "Starling Motel, Do Not Disturb" and has built a new letterbox so the chicks can grow in peace.

"We thought we would just let nature be."

About a month ago they cleaned some straw out of the letterbox, but when it appeared again, they decided to leave it alone.

Since then, they've been sitting at their kitchen window bird-watching.

"We spend a lot of time just watching them," Ms Burt said.

On December 8, five baby birds hatched, and three adult starlings have been lining up to feed them.

"They've been feeding them great guns, sometimes they'll have a scrap on top of the letterbox or one will come out and chase another one away," Mr Aroa said.

He said they thought it was odd the three starlings and five chicks were sharing a nest.

"Apparently starlings will lay in other starling's nests."

But a letterbox doesn't quite make the perfect home for a family of birds.

"Once a leaflet carrier made a mistake and put a brochure in the box and we had to open it really quickly to get it out or the mother birds might not have come back to feed them."

Another time, a mynah tried to get in the letterbox, but was quickly dealt to by one of the starlings.

"They had a bit of a ding dong down there on the grass."

The greedy birds have even been scoping out the new letterbox.

"We've seen them poking around it. We don't want three letterboxes."

Ad Feedback

- Taranaki Daily News


Special offers
Opinion poll

Do your pets make you feel loved?



I don't have a pet

Vote Result

Related story: Pets help people feel loved and secure

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

CuteStuff photos

Send us your pet pics

Email yourpics@stuff.co.nz