Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Banding birds at Moruya

Last weekend I was helping Anthony Overs catch and band birds in the escarpment forest at Moruya. Michael and Sarah Guppy are working on a long-term project studying the local birds' breeding behaviour, so several banders went down to catch as many as possible and band them with individual combinations of colour bands. Michael, Sarah and Anthony have been doing this for several years and by marking the birds this way they can determine which bird is paired with which, where they nest and how many chicks they rear. The Yellow-faced Honeyeater above is the most abundant honeyeater in the forest, and there were many birds with flying young.

The adult male Scarlet Honeyeater below, the only one we saw, was probably passing through the area with flocks of other birds post breeding. There were also many adult and juvenile New Holland Honeyeaters.

The adult male Spotted Pardalote below, is another common bird in the forests. They are unusual in foraging in the canopy, perhaps a hundred feet up, but nest in self-dug burrows in a broken bank of exposed soil.

We caught several larger birds too, including Noisy Friarbirds, a Satin Bowerbird, a Crimson Rosella, a King Parrot and the adult Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike below.

The last bird we caught on the Saturday evening was an adult female White-headed Pigeon which was lured down to seed.

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