Looking At Landcare – 5/5/2017

Have you always wanted to know more about birds, banding, nests, habitat and nest predation?

The National Parks Association Lachlan Valley Branch, with the support of Central West Lachlan Landcare, will be holding a special evening with Michael and Sarah Guppy to hear more about their study of woodland birds.

Between 1984 – 2004, Michael was a Lecturer/Associate Professor, Biochemistry at the University of Western Australia and prior to this position, he spent three years as a Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Nairobi.

Now retired, Michael and Sarah have been undertaking a study of the breeding biology of woodland birds on their 10ha woodland property, located five kilometres north east of Moruya in NSW.

The property was purchased by Sarah’s father, Stephen Marchant in 1973 and he surveyed and cleared tracks for a 50m grid and did a meticulous and comprehensive study on the breeding biology of the birds covering 1975 – 1984.

In 1992 the data was published as Occasional Publication No 1 (1992) under the auspices of the Eurobodalla Natural History Society, a society that Stephen founded in 1986.

In 2006 Michael and Sarah undertook the mammoth task of attempting to repeat the study that Stephen had undertaken in the same area, using the same grid. The pair set about rediscovering and re-clearing the grid with the aim of repeating the study for at least five breeding seasons spending approximately 450 hours on the site between August and January (inclusive).

Many of the birds have been banded to improve the breeding and nesting information that is being recorded.

The couple will be presenting some of their findings from the many years of study on their own property and will have a focus on nest predators, with nest predation being the most common source of nest failure in passerines (perching birds).

The identity of these predators is generally poorly known, but due to advances in surveillance, identification of the next predators is easier to undertake.

For the likes of people like me who love a good documentary (even if it is on predators) this information is interesting and can assist the community in decision making when it comes to domestic animals, ferals, habitat management and nest placement (for those who are interested in installing nests).

The presentation will be held at the Parkes Neighbourhood Centre on Wednesday, 31 May at 7pm. To RSVP, please give me a ring on 02 6862 4914.

Whether you are a serious twitcher or just enjoy learning more about birds and habitat, this evening is for you. This evening will be a good lead up event to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count which the Lachlan Valley National Parks Association, Central West Lachlan Landcare and Parkes and Forbes Shire Council are involved in each year, running events to assist children and adults with bird identification.

There are 170 days until the next Aussie Backyard Bird Count. Now is the time to register, download the app or just go to their website and check out last years results that saw over 1,400,000 birds counted and 61,000 Australians spending 20 minutes a day during the count week to record birds in their backyard.

To those of you who are setting out on an ABBA adventure this weekend at Trundle or a trip to the Bogan Gate Markets, the skies are looking clear, so its looking to be a gorgeous weekend to head to the country.

For further information, please go to our website at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org or go to our facebook page.

Until next week, happy Landcaring!

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