Red Wattlebird chasing Pelican

To: "Val Ford" <>, <>
Subject: Red Wattlebird chasing Pelican
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 21:55:19 +1100
It sure seems weird and there probably is no logical reason. It probably is just because it is a large bird with big beak nearby having an impact on a bird with a heightened aggression streak.
You probably all know of the old ethological experiment of having a cut out shape that: being towed on a string going in one direction supposedly looks like a flying hawk but going in the opposite direction supposedly looks like a flying goose. Well ducklings and goslings supposedly show instinctive alarm at the "hawk" space-time image and no alarm at the "goose" space-time image. It could be that simple although someone else suggested they could get the same reaction from a triangle towed point first (as a oversimplified "goose") or edge first as a oversimplified "hawk" or maybe it is that the point first image is less visually sudden.  Other experiments suggested it was just a matter of habituation as in what sights are the birds familiar with. Something that is new being something to be afraid of. To a Wattlebird, a Pelican or Ibis at close range is probably something like that.
-----Original Message-----
From: Val Ford <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, 24 December 2004 8:59
Subject: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Red Wattlebird chasing Pelican

Hi all
Val Curtis's message about Red Wattlebird chasing Pelican has reminded me of a Straw-necked Ibis - Red Wattlebird encounter in my garden a few months ago. 
For two days I had a single Straw-necked Ibis feeding on my lawn.  It was collecting mainly underground spiders and inserting the full length of its bill to do so. 
The ibis was accepted by all the resident birds except a nesting Red Wattlebird which spent a lot of energy trying to get the ibis to move on which of course didn't happen until the ibis was ready to leave. 
As Val asked about the pelican I now ask why would a Red Wattlebird need to harass an a Straw-necked Ibis?
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