One bird off the Melbourne CBD list - peregrines

To: Bill Stent <>
Subject: One bird off the Melbourne CBD list - peregrines
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 20:14:06 +1100
The death of a whole peregrine family is so sad. Especially from a nest site so 
well publicised it was used to lure me to Oz.  

I hope DSE will keep us informed about the incident because, as most 
subscribers appreciate, I'm a meddling amateur who knows a little about lots 
and am certainly not a toxicologist. 

But I have been worried about second generation (cumulative) anticoagulants 
like Brodifacoum ("Talon" etc.) because of their known effects (eg. John 
Young's sugar cane owl). It's possible a lethargic Black-shouldered Kite in our 
SE Melbourne foreshore was suffering from this as one was photographed feeding 
on a rat in an area where there had been an unusually high no. of rat deaths. 
But they are cumulative poisons and so would not produce a group of 
simultaneous deaths like those of the Peregrines ? 

It would have to be something fast-acting like Strychnine. A few years ago 
there were repeated sudden deaths of numbers of Silvereyes and Blackbirds in a 
nearby garden but the authorities never tracked down the source. Could it have 
been in fruit ?

Michael Norris
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife
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