Major Mitchell's Melon

To: <>
Subject: Major Mitchell's Melon
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2010 10:36:59 +1000

Birds Australia members might have noticed a request in the June BASNA e-news for someone to visit Turlee Station to help with a bird list.  Someone from BA HQ did so and got 61 species for a start.  I thought I’d try to improve on that so paid a visit last week (property is just south of Lake Mungo).  On another occasion I might inflict on you  a report on my investigations.  I’m reasonably confident I got one species never recorded before.  One species was the dear old MMC which was right into the paddy melons.  As evident from the below, this is another cocky that some might regard as left-footed.  My own view is that right-footed birds hold the food in the left foot because it is less serious dropping the food than falling out of the tree.  That leaves the question:  which foot holds the food while the bird flies into the tree?  Answer:  neither (in the bill).  When alarmed this species can carry off quite a chunk of melon.  This could help explain the spread of the plant, because presumably the digested seeds are not viable.  In fact with just a fraction more intelligence the species could deliberately plant out the stuff all the place.



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