FW: Why no rabbit predators? - ?ravens

To: 'Canberra birds' <>
Subject: FW: Why no rabbit predators? - ?ravens
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2021 03:59:56 +0000

Years ago Malcolm Fyfe (then COG pres) told me and others a story of watching a ewe (an ewe?) who had just given birth to two lambs. As I recall the story, he saw that the ewe was worn out and ravens had removed her eyes. I think he saw this happening. On that basis Malcolm had concluded that the mother and two babies were probably all doomed.




From: Canberrabirds [ On Behalf Of Ian Fraser
Sent: Wednesday, 13 October, 2021 12:56 PM
To: Canberra birds
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] FW: Why no rabbit predators? - ?ravens


Aust Ravens regularly prey on young rabbits, though full adults would probably be beyond them.

On 13/10/2021 10:23 am, Jean Casburn via Canberrabirds wrote:

Do Ravens take rabbits?  Perhaps not but they did have a go at a 1.25m Red-bellied Black Snake at Glendale on Sunday. The Raven was nest building, and spotting the snake from a distance flew over possibly to see if a meal was to be had. We saw the snake rear up at the bird and the Raven gave a small leap then walked away a few steps. Neither seemed to be disturbed by the encounter.



From: Canberrabirds On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 07:21 PM
To: ; 'Terry Munro'; 'Alberta Hayes'
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Why no rabbit predators?


In the last week at Callum Brae I’ve found a fox that was more interested in mice (possibly better practice for cubs/kits) and only one rabbit being preyed on, but by ravens.  I don’t know who killed the rabbit, but it was apparently freshly killed and completely ‘owned’ and eaten by the ravens.  Do ravens take rabbits?


There’s still quite a few rabbits in Callum Brae but I’ve not observed the local wedgies hunting there, even the open areas.  In the past I’ve observed wedgies capture rabbits inside the reserve, but now only over the Jerra Grasslands or the quarry or to the south.  Perhaps as Fleur suggested there’s just too many people jogging, walking and birding there now, and/or spoilt for choice in less peopled areas.





From: Canberrabirds On Behalf Of Terry Munro via Canberrabirds
Sent: Tuesday, 12 October 2021 1:46 PM
To: Alberta Hayes
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Why no rabbit predators?


Rabbits - have you seen City Hill in Civic in recent times, particularly around sunset. They could easily change the name to”Rabbit Hill”. Those tussocks along the tramline must look inviting 

Terry Munro


On Mon, 11 Oct 2021 at 6:51 pm, Alberta Hayes via Canberrabirds <> wrote:

I live near the ANU and go walking there every day. Last night I was there at about 10pm after I finished work and saw 4 kits (baby foxes) playing around in the ANU near Old Canberra House. They did not seem interested (or perhaps didn't see) the large rat that was eating the photinia, but were very interested in a large thistle nearby. They were rolling near it and sniffing it while jumping around one another. I suspect they will soon be too fat to jump around quite so much. 


I didn't see any owls or frogmouths, but there were a few sugar gliders and of course many brushtail possums about. 




On Sat, 9 Oct 2021 at 17:48, David Rees via Canberrabirds <> wrote:

The 'classic' predator of the Rabbit is of course the Fox. The bunnies are working overtime ATM. Campbell Park has many young ones right now for example. Eagles would find it hard to hunt in such wooded areas, relative to an open environment.  In Europe for example the Common Buzzard is probably the main raptor bunny killer, and are generally fairly common birds in southern and western Europe where rabbits are common.  Little eagles here would be a bit bigger and could do the job, but are rather uncommon these days. Guess its warren fumigation, doctored carrots etc. Given the conditions, I suspect the bunnies will outrun any local predators.


On 9/10/2021 12:17 pm, Fleur Leary via Canberrabirds wrote:

Question for the chatline: there is a proliferation of rabbits living beside Lake Burley Griffin from Molonglo Reach through to the ANU but they don't appear to be preyed upon by Wedge Tailed Eagles. Is this because this area is too built up? Do other birds of prey take rabbits (owls?) ? Or is it just that the rabbits breed too fast for predation to make an impact on their numbers? 



Since we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, it is our duty to furnish it well. Peter Ustinov

Ian Fraser, 
ph: 0427 207 412  

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