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Eggs and Consequences

Sam Williams, PhD | Jun 10, 2014


I know, I know it’s been “like, for evva” but after nearly two years we’ve managed to get the internet out to our remote solar powered parrot hotspot and home and this week I managed to escape from the office and so there’s some news of adventure to share, now that I'm back in the office. Let’s hope that this may even been the turning of the tide and I will find time to write again more frequently but Dear Reader let’s just take this one step at a time for now.

Did you see? It’s June already! The parrots have shifted from being social creatures in large groups to being absolutely vicious defenders of their territory and nesting opportunity. Those that are nesting are pretty business like in their behaviours. It goes something like this:

Mr Parrot “I’m here love”
Mrs Parrot “I’m coming out”
Mr Parrot “Morning here’s your breakfast”
Head bobbing and Glug Glug Glug
Mrs Parrot “Ta! Lovely view out here isn’t it?, I’ve got to get back to doing the incubating. Is that the neighbours over there? Can you go and pull their feathers out darling they really should have got the idea by now”
Mr Parrot “Certainly dear I’ll see to it and I’ll be back this evening”

By contrast those that are not actively nesting are the ones making a real commotion. Their calls are different and they remain together as they check out possible nests. They don’t actually commit to a nest perhaps because there are few sites remaining that are actually suitable (after all the trees were chopped down in the 1800s) or perhaps because they are just not ready yet. But these are the ones that distract the Echo team who have been so dedicated as to rise pre dawn and head out each morning and afternoon to make observations and separate the breeders from those “playing house”.

But yes yes it’s June and things are already in full swing. It was New Year a moment ago and now there are eggs! I was lucky enough to get out with Michaela and Randy to see how the birds are doing. This of course involves precarious abseils (rappels) on sharp rocks often with piddly little trees as anchor points. It makes a nice change from being behind the computer but it is interesting how dangling around on a rope over a large volume of air not to mention jagged rocks has changed now I have more responsibilities, a lovely wife and a few more years. Suddenly I’m thinking about the consequences and I don’t remember doing that before. Nevertheless it was fun and look what we found!