Re: Black 'chooks" are not trash birds....

Subject: Re: Black 'chooks" are not trash birds....
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 11:35:19 +1100 (EST)
On Sun, 22 Mar 1998, Alexandra Appleman wrote:
> the initial data is showing some interesting patterns. Black kites are the
> most numerous raptor on the coast and inland to about Charters Towers;
> beyond that corvids seem to be the dominant scavanger. I will be looking
> out for all raptors on a trip to Barcaldine next week (~1600 km round
> trip from Townsville).  

In Novemember I travelled Brisbane <-> Kakadu and filled in BOP Watch
sheets where I could.  There were good number of Black Kites around
Longreach but I could compare their numbers to corvids.  What surpised me
was the lack of Nankeen Kestrels and Black-shouldered Kites north of
Longreach.  In 500km north of Longreach I saw neither. 

Crossing the Barkley was brillant.  We left Cammoweal at dawn.  My BOP
sheet for the first 118km had 417 raptors which was 1 every 11 seconds. 
379 of these were Black Kites.  There were also 22 Wedge-tails including
10 at 1 roadkill.  

The Barkley, gave us grand sweeping sunlit views across the grasslands to
distant storms and another 300 raptors including all colours of falcon
(Brown, Black, Grey, Nankeen).  Absence of Peregrine left me short of a
full set of falcons in a morning.  Some parts of the Barkley have been
badly damaged but it also contains some of the most beautiful country in

My return journey was less spectacular.  The section that produced 417
raptors going west in the early morning produced 22 raptors in the middle
of the day.  My guess was the Black Kites in this area leave roosts at
first light to search for the night's roadkills and perhaps by midday most
roadkills have been well scavenged and most kites have returned to roosts.

Anyway I recommend highly participating in the RAOU's Bird of Prey Watch. 
Not just because I reckon the dataset will be very valuable but also
because its fun.  It also gives you a clear idea of your skills, I had to
tick "unidentified diurnal raptor" rather too often.

Andrew Taylor

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