birding-aus Questions, questions...

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus Questions, questions...
From: "Judy Caughley" <>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 07:34:05 +1000
Thanks to Alan Morris for his comments re raptor courtship in early winter.
We have had a lot of mice on the Darling Downs recently which I thought was probably the stimulus. But the mouse population usually crashes in July so there wont be food to feed the young.
Maybe mice and raptors haven't had long enough to co-evolve, especially as the selection pressure has
been slight until the last couple of decades.

Another question for everyone. We have also had a lot of the Pale field rat (Rattus tunneyi) this year
in areas with long grass. They weigh up to 100 g or so. Do you think Australian kestrels or black-shouldered kites would take them? Could these birds carry them if they did kill them, or would they have to feed at the site of the kill? Has anyone ever seen them do that?

Also, would anyone like to hazard a guess at the number of mice an individual kestrel or kite would kill in a day?
Thanks in anticipation...
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