Good News for Aussie Swiftlets

Subject: Good News for Aussie Swiftlets
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 09:18:34 +1000

Good News for Aussie Swiftlets

Shirl & I have just spent 5 weeks censusing the swiftlets at Chillagoe-Mungana, West of Cairns. The good news is that the last two seasons have received normal rainfall, unlike the previous four years, where La Nina has washed many nests from the roofs of the caves. You can see some of the damage in the photos included in the last two papers at the end of this web page

At Mudlark and Hercules caves where there had been no birds roosting or breeding in 2011, we found two and ten birds roosting. At Swiftlet Scallops #2 Cave where only 2 birds were sleeping in 2011, we found 20 roosting birds in June 2014.

Some other colonies had increased, but many are still lower than normal. This is particularly true where feral cats have also been hitting the colonies at the same time as the rain has been washing nests off the walls and drowning eggs and birds.

The last bit of good news is that we found three colonies that were unknown to us previously. One of them had 550 birds, the others 26, and 60+.

Happy birding


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