Archive for September, 2012

Spring: What to watch for

by on Sep.12, 2012, under Birds, Fauna, Information, Invertebrates, Location, Magazine, Mammals, Media, New South Wales, Queensland, Reptiles, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

 

Spring brings the amazing wildlife more in contact with humans than any other time of the year. Help is available for many of our injured or nuisance wildlife.

Birds will be breeding, building nests rearing young, reptiles slithering about and marsupials active from dusk to dawn. So what are some of the key things to watch for this spring.

Gang Gang Cockatoo - Steve McNeil

Birds

 

Nests

Bird nest – Tania Begg

Nest building animals, collecting hair, fibrous, leaves, twine are often collected and cause havoc for adults and often young birds caught around the nest. remeber to keep string, twine and fishing line in the bin not on the ground. Why? Adults and young birds often get entangled when they use it around the nest. When parent birds are building the nest keep a low profile try to avoid the arae of that tree and keep all domestic animals from being a threat especially that fat cat!

 

Fledglings

Tawny Frogmouth fledgling – Tania Begg

With all the strong winds several eastern states have had already. Many reports of nestlings and baby birds are flooding in. Mortality is high as nests have been blown out of their trees or shrubs.

In late spring beware the fledglings, often seen on the ground rather adult looking, I describe them as like human teenagers adult like but without their drivers license or in the birds case a flight license. Adults will feed them on the ground in many cases e.g. Magpies, Noisy Miners,

 

Swooping birds

Magpie breeding season is well under way. Swooping magpies seem to be in every town. Usually associated with nests in high traffic areas, typically the more harassed or in conflict the more intense the swooping.

 

The other swooping bird the Plover will be seen swooping people. They nest in yards with long grass or around roundabouts, park lands and within water ways. The hatchlings are remarkable once free of the egg, will quickly be able to walk and follow the parents to a new feeding site. They remain close to the parents for several weeks.

 

The very important facet to understand is to limit the aggression by avoiding conflict. Magpies in particular get more prone to swooping if there is regular conflict daily. Some magpies will actually target a type or size of person that travels near rhe nest if there has been a direct confrontation in the past e..g. Adult men who have kidnap a fledgling in the past. That magpie then targets men while less hostile toward women. Swooping birds can often be more apparent when there is a fledgling bird on the ground. Often fledgling birds are fine t be left alone in the care of the adults. See volume 1 no 2 Australian Wildlife Secrets “Don’t be a birdnapper”.

 

Echidna burrowing

 Montreme

Echidna

The warm weather stimulates the inerterbrates including the massive armies of the ants. Warm weather is also a precursor for the Echidna to begin his wide searching of ants. Wandering widely often get bailed up by dogs or can be seen in yards wandering around. Trick is to leave them alone let them wander and leave on their own even in dense suburbia yes.

Swamp Wallaby

 

Marsupials

Kangaroos and less so wallabies will inevitably graze along roadsides at dusk. Drive safely and sow down around grazing roo’s. Pouch checks of dead macropods,  are critical for the joeys at this time of the year. Report all dead roos to your wildlife groups. most dead inspected/pouch checked macropods will have a marking like an X spray painted on them.

 

Possums and gliders, its time for large amounts of babies or joeys more accurately. Ringtail possums can carry up to 3 joeys usually 2 on average and are very prone to losing one or two through misadventure. Brush tailed possums usually carry one sometimes two joeys.  This leads to a large amount of joeys being reported from the ground. Predators like cats and dogs are also a major problem during spring. Orphans are rescued by most wildlife groups and always ring your hotline when a joey is found on the ground during the day or signs of injury.

 

Reptiles

Diamond Python

Snakes

Spring is a time to slough the skin, for boys to chase the ladies for kilometers, feed as much to replenish lost fat stores from winter dormancy. Snakes can be sluggish in spring on mild sunny days, snakes are often slow to move away and confrontations may occur. Be alert while hiking, working along bush lands or in gardens. Always get professional help to deal with regular snake appearances otherwise develop a tolerance and safety plan for a snake visit.

Blotched Blue Tongue

 

Lizards

Found basking in yards or around parks and large native gardens are very common in spring. The enormous amount of lizards that emerge in spring, basking along fences, roads and moving in search of mates. Care is needed when mowing especially as the lizards may be sluggish in the first few weeks. Wandering monitors are more likely when weather is over 30 degrees. Watch out for basking lizards on roads.

 

Red - eyed Tree Frog

Frogs

If good rains continue we will see an emerging bonanza of frogs this year, calling incessantly often driving some people to lose sleep! This can be remedy by playing your favorite music softly to offset the frog chorus. However the frogs after many years of drought and poor breeding while resurge, tadpoles will appear in many dams, ponds and roadside ditches. Please remember not to move tadpoles or frogs from one location to another. As this can cause disease to be spread from one region to another, cause imbalance and reintroduction of cane toads.

 

 

Marine Mammals

Yearlings are often reported in seal prone areas of bays, coastlines and estuaries. Often around piers where often fisherman feed them scarps or they feed on discarded off cuts. Tired New Zealand fur seals, leopard seal and Sub Antarctic seals can rest along the coastlines. While distressed public feel sorry for them it usually is only a wait and see approach before they wander back.

 Mammals

 

Microbat FNQ hangs from ceiling.

Microbats

The warmer months also means more microbat activity. These winged wonders are silently racing through the night grabbing millions of insects. It may occur that colonies roost in your roof space. The high pitch squeaks may be heard by those with very good hearing. Not to be confused with the rats or possum that are very noisy to pretty much all.

 

Contact your state body conservation department or local wildlife shelter or rescue group for assistance and advice.

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Wildlife Secrets Magazine : Vol 2 No 2

by on Sep.05, 2012, under Birds, Dinsoaurs, Information, Invertebrates, Magazine, Mammals, Reptiles, South Australia, Subscriptions

Volume 2 • number 2 • September/October 2012

Main Articles

Without a doubt, marsupials are fascinating, but over the decades many wild myths have emerged about them. In Marsupial Myths, Amy Prendergast uncovers the truth about these unique animals.

In the final instalment of our special investigation into the pros and cons of feeding wildlife, Wildlife Feeding Part 2, the Wildlife Secrets Team has put together loads of useful advice to help you understand the real needs of native animals.

John Cooper trudges across forbidden terrain . . . okay, a maze of rice field levees near Leeton in NSW . . . to rediscover a colony of egrets he once photographed there. To his surprise, they are still managing to eke out a living among the crops, but he wonders for how much longer?

Secret sightings

There she blows . . . and what a beauty. Nicolas Entrup tells us all about the first-ever, all-white, orca killer whale to be observed by scientists. It’s a fascinating account of a rare event.

Lindsay Titmarsh goes on a quest to discover if there really is a Saltwater Crocodile in the Mary River in southeast Queensland, or if it just a local legend.

Secret places

Kangaroo Island. Hop on over to this idyllic isle off the South Australian coast with Ken Griffiths and you’ll find out there is much more to discover than its namesake suggests.

(continue reading…)

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