30 superbs at the mosque

Subject: 30 superbs at the mosque
From: Daryl King <>
Date: Sat, 02 Aug 2014 19:08:15 +1000
Some good news: Despite successive waves of irresponsible clearing, northern Belconnen (including the area covered by Fraser) still contains quite a few hollow-bearing remnant eucs - mostly in a band above the 600 metre contour (see attached (incomplete) map). Superb Parrots have inspected hollows throughout the area in each of the past three breeding seasons.

Some bad news: 1/3 to 2/3 of hollow trees in northern Belconnen are occupied by Common Mynas each year. In those circumstances, it is highly unlikely that Superb Parrots will re-establish a breeding population there.


On 2/08/2014 1:20 PM, Mark Clayton wrote:
In the late 1960's, early 1970's Superb Parrots were a common species in the
area that is now covered by the suburb of Fraser. I used to know people who
owned a property there and Superb Parrots commonly bred in some huge old
Yellow Box trees. There was also what was probably Canberra's last colony of
Grey-crowned Babblers present on site. The parrots then appeared to die out
for quite a while and it is only in the last decade that they appear to have
made a comeback to the northern part of the ACT. How long they will stay
remains to be seen as they do tend to follow food resources around. The
breaking of the drought has probably had quite a bit to do with the birds
return. On the other hand the ACT Government has done nothing to help them

by clearing large areas of suitable habitat for housing. From memory,
someone once said that of the 95 mature Yellow Box and Red Gums in the now

suburb of Crace, 80 were removed for housing. Several years ago I travelled
along the road that borders Mulligan's Flat NR and was horrified to see that
every tree up to the reserves' boundary had been flattened. As I pointed out
to Chris Davey at the time he was doing surveys to record breeding sites for
the parrots, it is a totally useless exercise to find nests if all their
food trees are being knocked over. This is what is happening with Regent
Parrots along the Murray River. They breed in the River Red Gums and feed in
the mallee which is still being cleared for agriculture. They are having to
move further and further to find feeding sites.

I will be interested to see what happens with the Superb Parrots as Canberra
continues to move into critical habitat in the newer Gungahlin suburbs. The
ACT Government plans for so-called "offsets" is a farce and so is their
so-called "solar orientation "policy which is one of the reasons the trees

in Crace were removed. All the old Eucalypts near the Gungahlin Town centre
will be dead within the next 50 years and nothing appears to have been done
to start potentially replacing them. As soon a building goes up near them
they will be removed as potential hazards.

The older I get the more cynical I become about governments and their
"environmental" policies. I don't think any of them really have a clue!


-----Original Message-----
From: John Harris 
Sent: Saturday, 2 August 2014 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] 30 superbs at the mosque

It¹s gratifying to see the Superbs becoming more visible in Gungahlin.
They have been nesting here in Mulligans Flat for years but were rare in
Gungahlin suburbia until the last couple of years and now quite large flocks
this year. They visit Percival Hill now in numbers and I put it down to the
maturing of the trees planted by landcare folk in the late 1990s which are

now virtually a mature woodland environment.

On 2/08/2014 11:57 am, "Peter Ormay" <> wrote:

Hello Chris

Yesterday 1-8-14 I watched about a maximum of 30 Superbs near the 3
large Yellow Box trees E mell. at the South end of Kate Crace St from
9.20am to 10.30am feeding on the ground mainly in native dominated
vegetation in strong cold west wind. I could not see what they were
feeding on due to the height of the grass.

It included a female-looking bird with yellow flecks on its back.

The numbers fluctuated as flocks of 8 to 15 SPs flew off South and NE
but seemed to return. They seemed skittish while on the ground,
possibly due to the strong wind, flying up into the adjacent Yellow
Boxes at any disturbance such as a Wood Duck nesting in the Eastern
Yellow Box flying over them but they soon came down again.

They were feeding mainly between the northern fence (with plain wires)
and the inner (with 2 barbed and 3 smooth wires) fence. They also fed
south of the inner fence but all within 20m of the Yellow Boxes

Peter Ormay

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill & Raelene 
Sent: Sunday, 20 July 2014 12:22 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] 30 superbs at the mosque

Gungahlin Town Centre survey with Angela Plant today. 30 Superbs
0910-0930 in large eucs beside mosque site , sth end Kate Crace  St.
Feeding on the ground, noisy, hanging about, roosting site? Low morning
sun gives them a startling, flouro green glow. Total 21 species.
Bill Graham


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