Sunday, 9 March 2014

Itchy Feet?

It's nearly mid-March. The male Red Wattlebirds in the south-west have begun their frequent territorial 'cough' calls, signalling that Birak (summer) is passing. Heavy rainfall in central WA has left floodwaters in the territories of our eagles, and the new season is now approaching. Could it now be time for Kuyurnpa to leave home?

Her tracking data over the last 2 weeks have revealed she has made two very long flights from Gidjee and Mulga's territory. You can see these in the above map. At midday on 26th February Kuyu was recorded 20km from home, flying about 500m above the ground (quite low given her previous heights!), near the southern boundary of Lorna Glen. She returned to the fenced enclosure that night to roost, and remained there for over a week.

Yesterday, again at midday, Kuyu was recorded 10km north-west of the enclosure, soaring 1km above a flat plain area of spinifex. Again she returned home to roost.

Do these short wanderings indicate she is getting 'itchy feet' and is starting to think about dispersal? More tracking will soon tell us!

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