Was walking by the Academy of Sciences
today and saw a pair of Wood ducks with 5 chicks., a few days old. Is that
‘early or late’ breeding. These arguments come up every year, with coments in
the last few years that woodducks breeding in June mainly being ‘early’ (whereas
I would always consider them to be ‘late’) Also, my observation of Brown
treecreepers hanging around a hollow the other day, diamond firetails
displaying, plus swallows at a nest this morning, and striated pardalotes
hanging around hollows.
Perhaps we just really need to take
a step back. Perhaps it is just our UK/N Eurocentric ‘history’ where we
see ‘four seasons’ based on an environment that has very obvious seasonality.
Canberra does ‘sort of’ fit this viewpoint, but
most of Australia does not,
with most of Australia being
controlled by rainfall rather than date, with ‘ephemeral’rainfall in the Centre
and Northern Australia being ‘wet and dry’
rather than having 4 seasons.
Maybe we arnt that different here
in Canberra, the
warm temperatures seem to be lagging later into the year, when I was a kid Im
sure March/early april was freezing. this year there have been many flowers in
autumn (hibbertia, goodenias, tricoryne even some trigger plants) and last year
lots of grass seeds at this time of year, when I remember very few flowers at
this time, previous to that. Is this lag due to climate variability or climate
change? Is late breeding just the ‘ephemeral’ adaptation of Australian
nature making the most of the conditions. One reason why Australian finch
species have become so popular in captivity around the world is that most will
breed at any time of year /adapt to local seasons as long as the conditions are
right. Whereas even after 50 years in captivity some European finches still have
set times of year when they breed in Australia. Perhaps we need touse
‘seasonality’ as a classificational
system to help us define ‘the exception’ rather than as The rule. Maybe
temperature and rainfall would be more appropriate than date and season.
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