About solar eclipse.

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: About solar eclipse.
From: Matthew Fitzgerald via Canberrabirds <>
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2023 21:36:00 +0000
Hi Philip, 

I'm returning to Canberra today after a quick trip to Exmouth for the eclipse. 

Unfortunately there weren't many birds in my immediate vicinity around totality, and the relatively short period of totality made it hard to take everything in. A Singing Honeyeater started calling a couple of minutes after but was silent during totality. Crickets started calling during totality and kept that up for at least a few minutes after.

Someone has since shared a 12 second video on Facebook, I believe they were in town where there were more birds. They note the birds are "going crazy" and there is a chorus of birds including Corellas and Miners. It certainly sounds like a strong reaction.

I snorkeled with Whale Sharks on Friday and our crew noted that around and after totality on Thursday they saw multiple Whale Sharks swimming near the surface, whereas they are normally at least several metres below. Not sure how scientific their observations were but interesting if true.


On Thu, 20 Apr. 2023, 08:52 Philip Veerman, <> wrote:

I expect we are all aware of the solar eclipse today. Are there any bird people at Exmouth today to see it?


As it happens, my first significant contribution to published bird study was my article: (1982) ‘A record of avian and other responses to the total solar eclipse – 23 October 1976’, Australian Bird Watcher 9: 179–209. (As far as I know, this is still the world’s biggest analysis of animal behaviour to a solar eclipse.)  About the event today (as in the totality impact on Australia) extent only just touches on the far west of WA. The partial eclipse will be visible over the whole of Australia. For most of us in the south east, it will not be noticeable without particularly trying, as only a very limited partial eclipse. To notice it there, you would need to use a pinhole camera technique. Birds will not notice it or be impacted in any way in the small partial areas. But in areas included in totality they certainly do notice!



Philip Veerman


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