Orange-bellied Parrots (August-September summary)

Subject: Orange-bellied Parrots (August-September summary)
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 15:40:51 +1000
Many thanks to those who saw and reported Orange-bellied Parrots over the
last few weeks since we released captive-bred birds near Point Wilson
(Werribee, Victoria) on 5 August.  Here is a summary for your info.  Two of
the released birds disappeared after the second day.  One of the released
birds stayed close to the release site on the upper saltmarsh during
August, while one moved to the base of the North Spit where it was seen by
many people, feeding initially on weeds (Carpetweed Galenia pubescens)
along the track but later in native Shrubby Glasswort Sclerostegia
arbuscula nearby.  The first bird joined it there at the end of August,
when both birds were seen feeding with 4 wild-bred birds in Shrubby
Glasswort.  They all remained there for the first week in September but
then the wild-bred birds became hard to find, with just one record of 3
near the hide at the mouth of Little River on 20 September.  The two
released birds remained at the base of North Spit all month, feeding in
Shrubby Glasswort and drinking at the nearby pond.  Five birds were seen
together there on 29 September (probably both released birds and the 3 from
Little River).  The first OBPs arrived on King Island in the second week of
September and in south-west Tasmania on 27 September (an unbanded bird)
with two other OBP on 3 and 4 October (wild-bred birds, one banded and the
other not).  We await with interest to see if the released birds will
migrate successfully with their wild-bred companions.  Please continue to
look out for OBP, and let us know if you see any.  We wish them well with
their travels.  Cheers, Richard.

Richard Loyn
Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research
Dept. Sustainability & Environment
PO Box 137 Heidelberg VIC 3084
ph [61] 03-9450 8703, switch 03-9450 8600, fax 03-9450 8799

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