Sunday, December 17, 2017

First Western Ground Parrot information brochure

Below is half of the first information brochure about the Western Ground Parrot which became available in early 2004. It was folded into three so that the front showed the central panel with the photo and the request 'Help find me'. That photo was one of only two coloured photos of a live bird that was available at the time! 

Much has changed in the 13 years since then regarding distribution so the map is inaccurate now. No Western Ground Parrots have been found at Waychinicup since 2004, and none has been found in Fitzgerald River National Park since 2012. The population number is still estimated at fewer than 200. Wildfire and predation are definitely serious threats - the word 'possibly' would not be used nowadays.

The tail feathers were painted from feathers found where a bird had been taken and plucked by a predator in Fitzgerald River National Park.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A nestling and a missed opportunity

Following are extracts from the report "Western Ground Parrot nest search at Waychinicup September and October 2001". A nestling was located but due to the lack of knowledge about what a nestling would sound like, the opportunity for following up was lost. The surveys were from 6 to 13 September and 4-17 October. Communications were not as easy in those pre-Google days as now.

BOC is the Bird Observers' Club.

Note: Another predator known to be common near the swamp was the feral cat. The dry season could have allowed cats to encroach on the islands which in a wetter year would be protected by being ringed with water.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Roost sites, territory, and number of birds

From "Western Ground Parrot nest search at Waychinicup September and October 2001".

The map below (Fig. 4) shows the roosting sites of three pairs of Western Ground Parrots at the time of the surveys (September and October 2001). The roosting areas were 1.2 - 2 size and approximately 250 - 300 metres apart. Each roosting site was an 'island' slightly above the general level of the swamp and with a wider range of plants than the sedges of the swamp floor. The dense sedges of the swamp floor are about 0.75 metre above ground, and the dense vegetation of the roost sites stands to about 1.5 metres above the ground.
A fourth and similar island, near the lake, was not being used as a roost site.