Red Goshawk nest tree pruned as endangered bird flies vast distance

To: "'Philip Veerman'" <>, "'Greg Roberts'" <>
Subject: Red Goshawk nest tree pruned as endangered bird flies vast distance
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2019 12:28:23 +1100

Greg et al.


Steve Debus sent me an email this morning to say that everything that has been raised on Birding-aus and in the blogs will be discussed at the next Red Goshawk Recovery Team meeting on 29 January 2019.  I’m guessing that there will be a formal response from the team afterwards.


But I want to repeat words of caution that I made earlier. Allegations seem to be getting stronger and more numerous as this discussion progresses. While there could well be some cause for concern, I think it is unethical for anyone to jump to conclusions without feedback from the recovery team.  Let’s wait for the team to respond and then have a civil discussion afterwards.  


Stephen Ambrose

Ryde NSW



From: Birding-Aus <> On Behalf Of Philip Veerman
Sent: 7 January 2019 11:05 AM
To: 'Greg Roberts' <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Red Goshawk nest tree pruned as endangered bird flies vast distance


Hello Greg,


It sure is concerning that these days someone would do this kind of disturbance for the purpose of being able to photograph the nest of a rare species. I suspect this has been generally contrary to the ethics for decades. Even so, Bill’s questions are valid. However the statement that: “The bird was sitting on eggs at the time the tree was lopped” directly goes against the very next word: “Presumably” If it was stated as sitting on eggs, then why presumably was it not? What is the presumption based on and why? Did this take longer than a normal period that the bird would be off the nest? Even so, what about immediately after? I guess the main point to challenge those who did this, is how would they know before doing this, (in order to justify the risk) that it would not disturb the birds?


About the aspect of “as endangered bird flies vast distance”. Fine but I don’t see why that is relevant, to the activities at the nest.




From: Birding-Aus On Behalf Of Greg Roberts
Sent: Monday, 7 January, 2019 6:31 AM
To: birding-aus
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Red Goshawk nest tree pruned as endangered bird flies vast distance


Bill Stent should have read the blog post concerned before asking for his "evidence":



1. An arborist was hired to lop the limbs off the tree.

2. The bird was sitting on eggs at the time the tree was lopped. Presumably it would have not remained sitting on the nest while the lopping was underway.

3. I provide a first-hand account from somebody who was actually there and prepared to go on the record. This was the person who discovered the nest. His claim was put to the Queensland Environment Department, which declined to respond.  



  Queensland Government officers studying the endangered Red Goshawk on Cape York lopped the limbs off a nesting tree while a bird was sitting on eggs to improve photographic opportunities.


That’s a fairly serious accusation, Greg, and it comes in three parts:

  • It was the Government officers who were the ones studying the Goshawk who lopped the tree (and not, for example,  the local electricity company)
  • The bird was sitting on eggs when the tree was lopped (and not while the parents were off hunting)
  • The reasons they lopped the tree was to improve photographic opportunities (and not, to continue the alternative example, to lessen fire danger)

What evidence do you have to support these three separate accusations?


Bill Stent



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