Plains-wanderers: rare copulating footage

To: "Philip Maher" <>, <>
Subject: Plains-wanderers: rare copulating footage
From: "Ross Macfarlane" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 18:26:25 +1100
Fantastic! It's not hard to believe they are allied to the waders when you see that mating behaviour...

-----Original Message----- From: Philip Maher
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2014 5:24 PM
Subject: Plains-wanderers: rare copulating footage


Chris Wood, Cornell University¹s ebird project leader, took some video of a
pair of plains-wanderers mating while he and colleagues were out with me on
11 October 2013.  I have put a link to the video on the latest news page of
our website. We¹ve seen a lot of mating displays over the years but never
plains-wanderers actually copulating. This is a rare, if not unique, piece
of footage.

It¹s been the best breeding season for plains-wanderers on the Hay Plain for
about ten years even though rainfall was well below average and spring was
particularly dry. We did however have the best winter rain for a long time,
followed by a couple of inches in early December.  As you¹ll see in the
video, the habitat looks ideal with more herbage (wildflowers) than grass.

We found three clutches of young and witnessed one of those clutches of four
small chicks grow to independence and a couple of independent young of the
other two clutches. On 28 December¹s Plains-wanderer Weekend, we saw a pair
doing a courtship display and past observations would suggest that this pair
may have been the parents of one of the successful clutches recorded earlier
in the season.

All this gives us hope the species might recover its numbers.


Philip Maher
+61 3 58813378

Australian Ornithological Services Pty Ltd
PO Box 385
South Yarra 3141
Tel: + 61 3 98204223
Mobile: 0417310200

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