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August 5

Sam Williams, PhD | Aug 05, 2006


The chicks from all but one of the nests we have been following have now fledged. So there have been at least 23 chicks entering the wild population this year, which is great news! The remaining three chicks in the tree nest are a few weeks off just yet. Once they fledge the chicks do not return to the nest. The smallest of the four chicks in the overhang nest left the nest something like 10 days after the oldest. This is different to what I saw with Lear’s macaws in Brasil. With those macaws the first chick to fledge returned to the nest to roost, but it is typical for adult Lear’s to roost in the cliffs too.

Rowan and I have continued to put in a good deal of time trying to catch adults birds. In particular we have been after the parents at the nest sites but it has been another frustrating week. We are trying to use food to lure the birds in to traps. When I was here last time this would have been so easy because there was apparently so little food in the bush. Now though there is plenty of food as there has been plenty of rain. This means the birds are less interested in taking food from potentially risk places such as an odd (to them) looking trap. The only positive thing about the whole experience is we’ve both managed to read a book! There is a lot of siting and waiting when you are trying to catch parrots and it seems like a good opportunity to slow down, well at least for the first hour then I get bored!

We’ve installed a couple of infrared video cameras into a couple of nests and Rowan has been using these to record parental effort with regard to feeding the chicks. The IR camera has a long cable attached to it and when Ro goes to a nest site he can connect the cable to a camcorder to watch and record what is happening inside the nest. He has captured some pretty funny moments and has been kind enough to let me post them on this blog for you to see. I hope you enjoy them.