Black-breasted Buzzard

To: <>
Subject: Black-breasted Buzzard
From: "Stuart Fairbairn" <>
Date: Sun, 6 May 2001 16:20:05 +1000

Taronga Zoo has a daily free flying bird show. At present it is on at 1230.
One of the raptors that has his own part in the show is a Black-breasted
Buzzard. The venue is a site in the Zoo overlooking the harbour. The
audience sits in a semicircular ampitheatre and the keeper stands on a bit
of lawn with a sandy patch in the centre facing the audience. The buzzard
flies out from right stage and lands on a dead tree. The keeper then places
an emu egg on the sand (the egg is a plastic one that can be opened.) As
soon as the buzzard sees the egg he lands beside it and looks round for a
stone, provided by the keeper on the lawn. The bird hops over, picks up the
stone, moves back and throws the stone at the egg. He repeats this getting
more frustrated as the egg remains intact. He stretches up to his full
height and fairly hurles the stone at the egg. Each time he investigates the
eggshell feeling for a crack. Finally he breaks open the egg and gets his
reward. This is natural behaviour in the wild but it was interesting to see
it demonstrated and to note the stretching up to give the most momentum to
the stone.

Stuart Fairbairn.

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