Birds at the eclipse or for anyone in north Australia

To: "'Birding-Aus Aus'" <>
Subject: Birds at the eclipse or for anyone in north Australia
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 17:35:06 +1100
Following on my other messages and those of everyone else. I hope someone
compiles these reports and writes it up for publication. Sadly I could not
be there as I can't afford the travel (even for a once or twice in a
lifetime, life highlight event). I would be happy to help with this or
co-author with someone. If no one who was there wishes to do this, I am
willing to do this. If people send me what they observed. This also goes for
the one going over south Australia a few years ago. Or even for any other
similar event, such as if you have information from the 1976 TSE that
somehow didn't get to me at the time... The point is that collection of
information about how birds respond when a TSE occurs at different times of
the day tells us a lot more than the results from just one event. It is
clear that the impact on birds in this time was far less dramatic than the
one in 1976. That is likely due to that it was early in the morning. Also
the one going over south Australia a few years ago was less dramatic than
the one in 1976. That is likely due to that it there are not a lot of birds
there and being open country, most of the birds would be close to the ground
and roosting behaviour would be hard to observe. But if all this is never
written up, the relevance this knowledge will just disappear. Then all the
dills will think that a TSE is only interesting to sun study or just a
entertaining freak show. That is the way the media portray it. I watched it
on ABC TV from home but what totally abysmal coverage that was, with people
in a studio talking over the whole thing. Why couldn't they just set up a
camera and sound gear and broadcast in silence for just five minutes........

I also have collected many published reports or just emails or letters of
information from all over the world over the past 30+ years of bird
reactions to other TSE events. The great majority of these are just one
person's observations and thus of limited value. There is as yet nothing
remotely close to my 1982 study. The many books about TSE are mostly about
the astronomy or history, many mention animal behaviour but usually at the
most superficial descriptive level, usually with no sensible analysis. It is
only by compiling this stuff that anything useful can be documented.

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah  ACT  2902
02 - 62314041

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Philip Veerman
Sent: Wednesday, 14 November 2012 1:59 PM
To: 'John Harris'; 'Peter Shute'
Cc: ; 
Subject: Birds at the eclipse

For reference read my 30 page article: (1982) 'A record of avian and other
responses to the total solar eclipse - 23 October 1976', Australian Bird
Watcher 9: 179-209. (The world's biggest analysis of animal behaviour to a
solar eclipse.)


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