Re: birding-aus Solar eclipse 16-2-1999

To: Philip A Veerman <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Solar eclipse 16-2-1999
From: HARRIS & WESTRUP John & Jude <>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 10:08:15 +1000

Philip A Veerman wrote:
> birding-aus
> There was a solar eclipse late afternoon yesterday that extended from about
> Geralton to Cairns. Sadly I couldn't get to the right part of the garden.
> >From news reports, it appears to have been an annular eclipse, so even at
> its greatest extent along the central line, it would not have caused
> complete darkness (unlike total eclipse). Did anyone out there observe the
> impact it had on the birds? Any impact is minimal until the sun is over 95%
> obscured, which did not occur over any main human population centres. My
> interest is related to following up on my article on the effects of the
> Total Solar Eclipse over Victoria on 23-10-1976. Aust. Bird Watcher
> 9(6):179-209. This explored and demonstrated how birds responded to a false
> dawn in the late afternoon, with pseudo dawn chorus and how their roosting
> behaviour was effected.
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I cannot comment on yesterdays annular eclipse, but back in the 70's
when I was a lad, I remember quite vividly the total eclipse in Victoria
at the time.  As a bird keeper at the time, with my parents, a friend
came around to observe the habits of the birds during the eclipse.  When
it became dark, they began normal roosting behaviour including tucking
their head under wing.  When the eclipse had finished, they "woke" are
carried on their everyday routine. These were parrots and cockatoos

John Harris
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