Regarding the reporting of Emus... and 'Ripper'

To: "" <>
Subject: Regarding the reporting of Emus... and 'Ripper'
From: Con Boekel <>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 06:07:32 +0000

Thank you for all the folklore regarding 'Son of Ripper'. Most enjoyable.

For interest, I have attached an image of 'Son of Ripper' doing his water display. His starboard leg, still curled from creating a water wall fountain effect, is visible.

I nurture an ambition to take the perfect Musk Duck shot with Son of Ripper as the subject but am finding it very challenging. It was only on my last trip out that I realized that just one the reasons a lot of my images were blurring was because the head feathers are vibrated very rapidly during parts of the display.



On 12/17/2016 4:19 PM, Chris Davey wrote:

Con, actually the Musk Duck is the son of Ripper. The original Ripper was raised at Tidbinbilla by Jonathon Munroe (an ex work colleague who then went to work as manager of the waterfowl collection at Tidbinbilla). From memory the egg originally came from a nest along Yarramundi Reach, LBG. The original Ripper would lie in wait until an unsuspecting  handler came to feed him. As the handler bent down to place the food on the ground he would leap out of the bushes and grab the back of the knee causing much pain and the exclamation you bl..dy ripper. Also Jonathon being a recently arrived Pom I think liked the word.



From: Con Boekel [m("","con");">]
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2016 2:09 PM
To: m("","canberrabirds");">
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.






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