birds and planes near avalon - am curious

To: Cheryl Ridge <>
Subject: birds and planes near avalon - am curious
From: Paul McDonald <>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 13:28:13 +1100
Hi Cheryl,

I worked on both the WTP and Avalon airport whilst completing fieldwork for my PhD. I was mainly interested in Brown falcons, but was amazed at how quickly just about all bird species there habituated to the (very to extremely!) loud noises of the various aircraft. Birds on the farm where fairly relaxed about flyovers for the most part, at the most looking up at the aircraft. I suspect ducks etc on Lake Borrie would be less tolerant, but most planes seem to fly over the T-section areas only. A pair of browns at the time had dependent young on a nest tree over looking the main 'stall' area within the airport, ie lots of people and noise, and carried on provisioning as per normal without apparent effect either.

In fact, to my surprise, my impression was that the event seemed to affect me more than the birds as short-term hired security flexed their muscle and new-found status on occasions.

Moreover, they are probably fairly used to aircraft noise, particularly post-Jetstar, as it was not unusual for pilots to be practicing their take-offs/landings (stop-goes) most weeks. The constant noise of low jets could be quite annoying after a few hours spent on the western side of the farm!


On 21/03/2007, at 1:06 PM, Cheryl Ridge wrote:

Hi folks

With the Airshow on this week I am merely curious
about how it effects the birdlife (if at all) around
the Avalon and WTP area. I have not been there for a
while and would most likely tend to avoid it while
there are airshows on simply because of maddening

Am interested to hear other people's experiences -
whether they have been birding down that way this week
or are likely to. Or how they have found things around
the time of previous airshows.



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Dr. Paul G. McDonald

Centre for the Integrative Study of Animal Behaviour
Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW 2109

Ph: +612 9850 9232 Fax: +612 9850 9231


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