I think we need an expert on Tidbinbilla folklore here. My recollection (probably not completely reliable) is as follows.
The original Ripper (was he really the original?) was there in the 1980s and performed in quite a small water enclosure - being close enough to passers-by
to cause the occasional surprise. I think he passed on before the 2003 fires. Another Ripper might have been introduced before the fires (?) He roamed in the larger water enclosure that had been constructed. I would think that after the fires Tidbinbilla
was temporary Ripperless. Another, or possibly more, in the Ripper succession was/were introduced after the reopening.
From: Con Boekel [
Sent: Saturday, 17 December 2016 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Regarding the reporting of Emus... and 'Ripper'
The Tidbinbilla Musk Duck's name is 'Ripper'.
I was told recently that 'Ripper' has been there for 16 years. I do know that Ripper enjoys his mince treats. Ripper is also ferocious when it comes to defending what is his. He swims under water and attacks Pacific Black Ducks physically. I assume that
small ducklings would not survive Ripper's attentions. Ripper does all the male Musk Duck things including spectacular water displays, inflating his dewlap, and arching his tail in a most becoming fashion.
While I cannot possibly know for sure I would suggests that Ripper may well be the most photographed male Musk Duck in the world.
On 12/17/2016 1:37 PM, Ryu Callaway wrote:
I think all Tidbinbilla records need to be treated with caution.
While things like the Musk duck and Brolga are more obvious, distinguishing the captive little pied cormorant from wild visitors would not necessarily be easy. I don't know
if they get wild pelicans, but if so, care would need to be taken to separate from the 2 or so captive individuals.
I reported Freckled Duck on the ponds one time- and then I found out when talking to one of the Volunteer Interpreters that they had been released some time earlier (I think
with feathers trimmed) but were free to fly off since their feathers should have grown back. Do these count? Would the average observer or even all the volounteers have known? Who knows what else they may have released there.
It may be worthwhile to get in touch with Tidbinbilla on a regular basis to be up to date on what they have been doing there, and perhaps posting updates and a list (with counts)
of captive birds or birds to be treated as such to the chatline.
In the meantime, I just report everything (as do a number of others), and trust that someone in the data analysis process knows what counts and what doesn't.