Saturday, October 18, 2014

An Eastern Ground Parrot of Cooloola

There will be at least two more postings on the 1980s work of David McFarland on the Eastern Ground Parrots of Cooloola National Park.  Below is a drawing by David. He donated the use of the drawing to the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, when the group first formed, in 2003. At that time there was very little illustrative material available.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Calling behaviour of Ground Parrots in Queensland

Much new information was discovered during David McFarland's field study of Eastern Ground Parrots at Cooloola, Queensland. The main points regarding calling behaviour:

# Calling rate increased when bird density increased  

# Dusk and dawn calling activity continued throughout the year

# The timing of dusk and dawn calling was significantly tied to specific light intensities

# Duration of calling peaked in winter with a co-incidence of full or almost full moon

# Four different calls were in common use: level, rising, double rising, stutter rising

# Frequency of level calls varied between dawn (less frequent) and dusk (more frequent): other calls did not vary in frequency 

# Frequency of level calls (frequently used while flying) decreased as the fire-free interval increased (more vegetation and presumably less need to fly)

Below is the section on calling behaviour, copied from the April 1989 report to the Division of Conservation, Parks and Wildlife; Department of Environment and Conservation, Queensland. The report is entitled

The Ground Parrot: Pezoporus wallicus wallicus (Kerr) in Queensland: Habitat, Biology and Conservation.