Friday, January 17, 2014

First feeding record

A Western Ground Parrot(WGP)was observed feeding on the leaves of this plant.  The leaves have a sharp spine at the end. The bird was eating the bulk of each leaf and leaving the tip with the spine. These rejects can be seen scattered on the ground around the plant. There are fresh scars where the leaves were snapped off.

The is no fresh water where the WGP lives in the Fitzgerald River National Park. The birds do not fly out to drink. They would depend on dew, rain and moisture from their food. March is typically a dry time of the year and it is likely that they use these semisucculent leaves primarily as a moisture source.

The article was published in The Western Australian Naturalist, August 1983. Volume 15 (6): pages 145, 146.

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