Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Breeding problem for Ground Parrots

Long-billed Corella      Photo: Wikipedia

David McFarland in his 1989 report (see previous posting) put together a table (below) which compares egg failure in several species of Australian parrot. All the Ground Parrot data refers to Eastern Ground Parrots. There is almost no data available on Western Ground Parrot egg failure.

Note that the egg failure excludes predation and desertion. Although the number of Ground Parrot eggs is separated into three studies, each of the failure percentages is higher than any of the other species listed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nests and Nesting

Top photo shows adult bird (male) on a feeding visit to its nest. The domed cavity can faintly be seen.

The lower image is a view of the floor of the nest with three nestlings.

Photos are Eastern Ground Parrots: Norman Chaffer estate copyright Australian Museum.

(These images were not taken as part of the McFarland study.)

The text below is taken from "The Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus wallicus (Kerr) in Queensland: Habitat, Biology and Conservation", by Dr David McFarland, April 1989. This report was prepared for the Division of Conservation, Parks and Wildlife; Department of Environment and Conservation, Queensland.

......juveniles were ever heard calling  ('teek' call) in sites burnt within the previous three years."

Note: It is probable that the general pattern of nest-building and nesting is fairly similar for Eastern and Western Ground Parrots. However there will be some differences. For example, work done on Western Ground Parrots (WGPs) in 2006 showed that male birds feed brooding females away from the nest. This has been one of the difficulties which has prevented researchers finding the nests of WGPs.

The plant species listed incompletely in (c) Empodisma minor, Xanthorrhoea fulva, Banksia oblongifolia.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Home Ranges of Eastern Ground Parrots

David McFarland's radio-tracking work on Ground Parrots in Cooloola National Park, South-Eastern Queensland yielded some information about their home range.

Home ranges are very likely to overlap to some extent. Each of the figures below shows the same place. 

At the time of  radio-tracking in each season, between three and five parrots, including the tagged bird were flushed in area A (Figure 2, a). (McFarland, 1991)

There was little overlap in foraging ranges among tracked individuals, and no two tagged birds foraged in the same area on the same day (Figure 2, a-c) (McFarland, 1991)

Figure 19 is taken from McFarland, David, 1989. The Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus wallicus (Kerr) in Queensland: Habitat, Biology and Conservation. For Division of Conservation, Parks and Wildlife; Department of Environmet and Conservation, Queensland.

Figure 2 and Table 4 are from McFarland, David. 1991. The biology of the Ground Parrot, Pezoporus wallicus, in Queensland. 1. Microhabitat Use, Activity Cycle and Diet. Wildlife Research, 1991, Volume 18. (p.176 and p.174).