Re: Wildlifing Update: Budgerigar

Subject: Re: Wildlifing Update: Budgerigar
From: Craig Williams <>
Date: Sun, 01 May 2005 19:20:50 +1000
Hi Terry and all,

Your posting about the budgies in Dalby certainly gives weight to the
concept of biomass which I suspect wasn't in circulation at the time!

Multiple puns are irresistible.  

Have the numbers of budgies remained consistent over the last 50 years. 
Wonder what sort of records we have to go by, apart from the sagging
telegraph wires of Dalby once upon a time.

I'm in a biomass mood after yet again watching the nightly grey-headed
flying fox departure from Blackbutt Reserve at Kotara, near Newcastle:
the colony leaves at that same bat time every bat evening.  Rain, hail
or whatever.  So much more than clockwork!  On the basis of the flying
foxes - and I sorely hope their threatened species listing will help
their existence in the long term - according to "scientific opinion and
research" they play a critical role in pollination vectors for forests
generally: I wonder what the score is on this front with budgies? 
Minions - or conductors for that matter - of grass and woodlands? 
Desert opportunists?

Would be great if someone was in a position to engage with such
questions about flocking, symbiosis and pollination. We could perhaps
add stats on change over the last hundred years with respect to flocking
and vegetation patterns.  Any research out there that has considered
birds as instrumental to the viability of particular vegetation
communities in Australia, or does it all privilege fire as the primary

Keep the photos coming Mick!  You're creating a major educational,
scientific and cultural resource with your webwork.  If I can afford the
rates, I'll be downloading some of your masked owl recordings at the


Craig Williams

>>> Terry Pacey <> 05/01/05 4:58 PM >>>

Back in the late 1950's or early 1960's the budgerigars decided to use 
the power lines east of Dalby (Darling Downs, Qld) to spend the long 
days.  The wires were stretched with the weight and almost reached the 
ground.  After the birds had moved on, the lines neede replacing aqs 
they had stretched so far.  The flock filled the wires for several 
miles (as it was then) and the number of birds would have been 

I wish I could remember the exact year and that I had had a digital 
camera back then but maybe someone else from Qld may be able to help.

It was a sight I will never forget, even after fifty years or so.  
During the mid 1960's, I lived in far west of Qld (Dajarra and 
Bedourie) and even though I saw flocks of several thousand birds at 
times, nothing came close to the Dalby sighting.


Terry Pacey

Gold Coast  Qld

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