birds and grapes and vineyards and cannon-nets

To: <>
Subject: birds and grapes and vineyards and cannon-nets
From: "Cilla Kinross" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:33:16 +1100
It's odd that Russell mentioned the idea of selling the cannon nets to the
vineyards as the same idea was crossing my mind yesterday when I saw upwards
of a thousand (?) starlings roosting in the reeds around the dam close to
the vineyard on the university campus (and presumably disturbing the
clamourous reed-warblers who have not been heard for some time, although
they may have already migrated).  If one could net all those starlings at

As regards birds being caught in netting, this is monitored daily on the
campus vineyard so birds can be released.  We catch mainly starlings, but
the odd native bird gets caught too - including a brown goshawk that was
released unharmed and was presumably after the caught starlings.  Silvereyes
often manage to get under the nets however well they are closed - but they
rarely get caught as far as I know, just have a good feed and then get out
(I suspect some live there all through the ripening period - and why
wouldn't you?).  As someone previously said, the nets are not the type to
tangle the bird, but if they get in then some have difficulty finding their
way out.   I am considering extending my banding project to include the
vineyards (I'm currently doing windbreaks near vineyards) so that caught
bands can be banded and we can tell how many are repeat 'offenders'.

I head an interesting snippet on the radio (I thought perhaps Earthbeat
repeat, but I've checked Web transcipt and doesn't seem so - it was 5am and
I'm not sure) about a chap who feeds 20-40 what he called 'whistling eagles'
on his vineyard with chicken necks and these keep most of the fruit-eating
birds away.  He feeds them daily, even out of harvest time, which could lead
to distortions in behaviour and distributions.  I'll keep trying to find out

The Orange Agricultural Institue is conducting a study of birds in vineyards
(but with particular emphasis on starlings) under Glen Saunders, so it will
be worth keeping an eye on their results when they come out.

Cilla Kinross

Lecturer in Environmental Management
Faculty of Rural Management
University of Sydney, Orange
PO Box 883

Tel:  (02) 63 605 651
Fax: (02) 63 605 590


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