Re: birding-aus [Fwd: [Help] Perplexed {01}]

Subject: Re: birding-aus [Fwd: [Help] Perplexed {01}]
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 09:01:36 +1000
At 21:32 17/11/1999 +1000, you wrote:
>Dear Birding-ausers,
>I am forwarding this story from my computer-help group.  Perhaps someone
>would like to respond.
>Ros Laundon.
>Received: from kurt [] by []
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>Message-ID: <>
>From: Kurt <>
>To: "Help List Member"  <>
>Subject: [Help] Perplexed {01}
>Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 06:16:35 +1000
>Organization: BKD Marketing Services
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>-----Original Message-----
>From:  Kurt [SMTP:
>Sent:  16 November, 1999 10:53 PM
>To:     au'
>Subject:       Perplexed
>I have just witnessed an event that has me very perplexed.
>When I went outside at 21.50 torch in hand I spotted a possum running along 
>the Optus cable.
>Nothing unusual in this as I have enjoyed these antics for the last 2 
>years. The possums  have gotten used to my presence with the torch and 
>scarcely take any notice of me.
>What surprised me was the sight of a crow attacking the possum!  At first I 
>thought that the light from my torch had disturbed the crow from its sleep 
>and it  just hit the scurrying possum by accident.   But the crow then kept 
>going after the possum, and managed to hit it (The possum) and not ever the 
>cable the possum was running along.
>I have  never seen a day bird fly very far at night, and never with such 
>precision carry out complicated maneuvers at night.
>There was a fair amount of moonlight. I still required a torch to see 
>adequately though, especially among the tree branches.  The crow navigated 
>between these, only ever hitting the possum.
>Obviously the crow was defending its nest or territory.  And it definitely 
>was a crow, if I had any doubts, the ruckus it made soon disspelled them.
>Are there any  naturalists / zoologists out there who have any ideas on 
>this subject?
Dear Ros/Kurt

Birds certainly do mob possums (Sunbird 1994: 24:22-23), although this record of
crows doing it at night is unusual.

They don't seem to particularly differentiate between Ring-tail Possums,
which are
almost entirely herbivorous, and Brush-tail Possums which are much more 
omnivorous and which are likely to include chicks or eggs in their varied diet.


Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy             
School of Veterinary Science & An. Prod.  Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland              Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072             WWW  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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