Real World Gardener Grey Plover is Wildlife in Focus

April 23rd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Did you know that Australia provides habitat for millions of migratory birds each year?<?xml:namespace prefix = "data-blogger-escaped-o" />

Some of these birds fly amazing distances when they migrate.

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Grey Plover photo www.birdlife.org

Today’s bird in Wildlife in focus is the Grey Plover which is a special and unusual migratory shorebird that we know very little about.

It’s the largest plover we have in Australia of its type and we know that they migrate an amazing  12,000km to breed in northern Siberia and Alaska during the northern summer and return to spend our summer in Australia.

. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.net

So the grey Plover can be described as having a strongly barred tail.

We can see them all around the coastline of Australia at inlets, estuaries lagoons, and tidal salt marshes.

Oddly enough, the majority of Grey Plovers that migrate to Australia are female. No-one knows why.

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Grey Plover, photo Birds in Backyards

They spend their summer here and from March to April, head north, stopping to re-fuel in Korea, and China's Yellow Sea.

Grey Plovers mostly eat crustaceans, polychete works and other invertebrates.

Because shore birds like the Grey Plover are along the coastline if you notice that there’s a flock of shore birds, not just you’re common seagull, but birds like the grey plover, then you can help by not disturbing them and keeping your dog on a lead.

Threats to migratory birds have grown with habitat destruction especially of stopover and wintering sites, as well as structures such as power lines and wind farms.

The conservation of important sites both within Australia and along their migration routes is really important to their survival.

If you have any questions about Grey Plovers or any birds or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Brown Thornbill in Wildlife in Focus

March 5th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com
REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Brown Thornbill

Often referred to by birders as LBB, this little bird can look similar to a lot of other little birds.

the characteristic shape of Thornbills are short tail, short sharp body , sort of like a ping pong ball.

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Brown Thornbill photo Birds of  Australia

Often these birds are hard to identify because they’re not a conspicuous bird and are rarely seen on the ground.

But being a rather inquisitive bird it will usually come out if you make squeaking noises.

Let’s find out about how to best identify this LBB.



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Brown Thornbill photo barwonbluff.com.au

 



I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards.

 



Brown Thornbills will quite happily visit your garden, the park, or your local nature strip, particularly where there are large patches of remnant vegetation or shrubby creek lines.

Did you know that the Brown Thornbill sticks around its home territory for life? Apparently marked birds known to be 11 years old have been re-captured several times, never having moved more than a few hundred metres from where they were first caught.

If you have any questions about Brown Thornbills or any other bird, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Zebra Finch in Wildlife in Focus

January 23rd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

zebra%2Bfinch.pngZEBRA FINCH or Chestnut Eared Finch.

What grows only to 10cm in size and 10 - 12 grams , is mostly found in only Australia, it’s favourite food is grass seeds and are often kept as pets?

The Zebra Finch as the title suggests?

Zebra finches have a chunky reddish coloured beak, with fine boned, tiny little legs.

Males have chestnut cheek patch; both sexes have zebra stripes with some barring.
Let’s find out about another unique Australian bird.

I'm talking with Birds in Backyards Manager, Dr Holly Parsons.

In the wild they tend to be in flocks and are not territorial.

They pair for life and will re-pair on the death of a partner.

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Zebra Finch photo: Birds in Backyards.

You might’ve seen them for sale in pet stores but don’t tempted to buy them unless you like loud singers and untidy eaters that drop bird seed everywhere.
The male zebra finch also doesn’t like contact with other birds.
I prefer to see birds in the wild.
If you do want to keep them as a pet I would recommend that you seek expert advice before taking a finch home. 
As small and as simple as they look, finches needs patience and proper care in order to breed successfully.
By the way, cats are the biggest threat to finches so do keep yours in at night.
If you have any questions about Zebra finches or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Brown Goshawk in Wildlife in Focus

December 4th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com
REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Today I’m introducing a new presenter for the Wildlife in Focus segment which has been in sort of a holiday while I was hunting around for someone to fill the role after ecologist sue Stevens wasn’t able to continue with the segment.

The bird that’s featured is a bird of prey and can easily be mistaken for a couple of other birds that look similar.



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Brown Goshawk

Let’s find out how to pick which raptor you might find in the sky. I'm talking with Manager of Birds in Backyards, Dr Holly Parsons.

The Brown Goshawk can look similar to a Powerful Owl, and the Collared Sparrowhawk. The Brown Goshawk has a similar face to the Powerful Owl but has a line or brow above the eye and a red-brown collar plus finely barred underparts. The collared Sparrowhawk has very similar colouring but doesn't have the harsh brow.

The major difference between the two raptors is that the Brown Goshawk has a rounded tail and the Collared Sparrowhawk has a squared cut off tail.

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Powerful Owl Photo: Habitat Network

 On the other hand the powerful owl is much bigger and has striped chevrons on the underparts.

Did you know that the Brown Goshawk is one of Australia's most persecuted raptors. That’s because some people call it a "chicken hawk," which it’s not.

What it really is a natural predator of birds, reptiles, frogs, large insects and mammals up to the size of rabbits.

Yes it’s true they sometimes hunt out your chickens, but that’s because it’s either a juvenile, or sometimes the adults, if they’re extremely hungry due to illness, injury, or extreme environmental conditions where’s there’s not much prey in the wild.

They hunt by stealth, relying on surprise to catch their prey.

The Brown Goshawk's preferred habitat is dry, open eucalypt forest and woodland.

If you have any questions about Brown Goshawks or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener White Throated Treecreeper is Wildlife in Focus

July 2nd, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

white%2Bthroated%2Btree%2Bcreeper.pngWhite Throated Treecreeper

with consulting ecologist Kurtis Lindsay

People have been fascinated by birds for centuries.

We look at them through binoculars and take photos of them with great big lenses. We even go around recording their sounds.

What have we observed?

We know that birds can fly, and that they can hop around on the ground and in tree branches.

They can even walk or waddle, swim, and dive.

But what about climbing a tree? How and why would they do that?

Have you ever seen a White-throated Treecreeper?

If you did, you’ll know why it is called a "treecreeper". Because it just does what its name suggests, creep up tree trunks, looking for insects and grubs to eat.

white%2Bthroated%2Btree%2Bcreeper1.pngWhen it nears the top of the tree it flies down and starts again from near the bottom of the same or another tree.

Treecreepers have often been confused with woodpeckers, even though Australia doesn't have any of those.

The treecreepers bill is a lot softer than a woodpeckers' bill and they have short stiff tails that helps them to balance.

The white throated tree creeper prefers trees, mostly Eucalypts, that have flaking and peeling bark, such as ironbarks and stringybarks.

Some examples are Eucalyptus nicholi, Eucalyptus pilularis, Eucalyptus viminalis, Eucalyptus crebra.

They nest in hollows of trees, but if you want to encourage tree creepers into your garden, you can build nest boxes specific to tree creepers.

The white throated tree creeper is often seen in the Blue Mountains in native bush and in domestic gardens that are close to native bush.

If you have any questions about Tree creepers, or have a photo of one that visits your garden or nearby why not write in or send in a photo to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Pelicans are Wildlife in Focus

May 31st, 2015

 REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

with Andrew Patrick from the Cumberland Bird Observers Group. www.cboc.org.au

pelicans.png

We’ve all seen seagulls flocking to food around beaches but there’s another bird which attracts lots of tourists, even as much as tens of thousands of families and locals when they’re being fed.

While the people are watching, they get an entertaining and educated commentary about the pelicans, and marine life and general information about the area.

 

One of the main objectives of the pelican feed  in popular resort areas, is to keep an eye on the pelican's medical conditions as many have hooks and lines tangles up in their gullets, wings and other parts of their body.

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The feed is a chance for the co-ordinator to assess their well being. It's certainly an amusing show to come and see.

At least 1 or 2 birds a week are removed from the water and sometimes the outcome is bad for the injured birds but most times its just a simple extraction of a hook and they are on their way.

The Entrance has now been internationally recognised as 'The Pelican Capital of Australia' and we want you to be part of it. So when you visit us at The Entrance be sure to wander down to the pelican pavilion on the foreshore for an experience you will treasure.

If you have any questions about Pelicans from your garden, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Grey Butcherbird is Wildlife in Focus

May 3rd, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

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with ecologist Sue Stevens

A few years ago, while the Better Homes and garden film crew where recording a segment with presenter Graham Ross in my garden…this was when I was a gardening researcher for the show.; Graham would always look at this particular bird that visited and wonder what it was.

At that stage neither of us knew what the bird with a black head, white band and grey body and beak that reminded me of a Kingifsher beak

Other birds in the same family include the Australian Magpie, the Currawongs, Woodswallows and other members of the Butcherbird genus Cracticus.

The grey butcherbird is a regular visitor to my garden and probably why I don’t have the wattlebirds and other smaller birds visiting.

Even though it’s an aggressive predator, the grey butcherbird has a lovely song and in summer sings close to the house and sometimes perches on the clothes line.  In this case he’s probably looking for lizards and insects.

If you have any questions about the Butcher bird or have a photo you want to  share, send it in to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Greated Crested Tern is Wildlife in Focus

March 1st, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS



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Greater Crested Tern



with ecologist sue Stevens

The Greater Crested Tern is the second largest of 18 different terns found in Australia.

Like most terns, the Greater Crested Tern catches its prey by plunge-diving.

They first locate their prey by hovering above the surface of the water, before swooping down and either picking food from the surface or diving below to catch its prey.

They even try to steal food from others in the same family.

 

The Greater Crested Tern is found around sandy beaches with fish and safe breeding sites that includes sand dunes with spinifex.

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The Crested tern is an adaptable species that has learned to follow fishing boats for jettisoned bycatch, and to use unusual nest sites such as the roofs of buildings and artificial islands in salt pans and sewage works.

The greater crested tern is vulnerable because they nest on the ground so dogs let loose on the beach can scare them off leaving in the eggs to chicks exposed.

Also the tern's eggs and young are taken by gulls and ibises, and human activities such as fishing, shooting and egg harvesting have caused local population declines.

You can help protect the Greater Crested Tern by:

organising a day to pick-up litter on your local beach

 not getting too close to tern nests as disturbance can distract them from caring for their young.

If you have any questions about Crested Terns or a photo send it in to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Crimson Rosella is Widllife in Focus

February 1st, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

with Sue Stevens, ecologist

Not all brightly coloured birds are Lorikeets in Australia.



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Crijmson Rosella photo Ralph de Zilva

Crimson rosellas are kept as pets but they aren’t great talkers.

Rosellas are great whistlers and can learn to whistle songs.

Have you ever heard of the Red Lowry, Mountain Lowry or Pennant's Parakeet? Not sure what that could be?

 

 

 

 

The sound of the crimson parrot was provide by Fred van Gessel of the Australian Wildlife Sound Recording group.

The following research is from Prof. Andy Bennett of Deakin University.

Prof. Bennett says (Beak & Feather Disease virus) BFDV is only found in parrots and how nasty it is varies from species to species. In some species it can be really nasty – leading to extensive feather loss and death.

The Australian Government lists BFDV as a Key Threatening Process to biodiversity under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Fortunately, it currently appears that BFDV in Crimson Rosellas is rather benign.

If you have any questions about crimson rosellas or have a photo , send it in to to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 



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photo Ralph de Zilva

Real World Gardener Pied Currawong is Wildlife in Focus

December 28th, 2014

 

 

 

 

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REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

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with ecologist Sue Stevens

Do you know the difference between a Magpie, Crow, Raven and Currawong?

Good or bad, this bird will probably visit your garden.

If you like the smaller birds in your garden, it may be timely for you to get to recognise the difference because one of them is considered a nest predator, and is partly responsible for the decline of smaller species in some areas where it lives.

Currawongs  now remain in cities all year round, mainly because there’s plenty of food around-cat food, dog food, bird feeders, you name it.

They’re a pretty smart bird so don’t let them train you into thinking that you need to feed them.

As Sue mentions quite regularly, what we feed birds is largely lacking in nutrients that they really need and in this case, the Currawong includes smaller birds in their diet.

Plus you don’t want a nest of Currawongs in your backyard, because during breeding season, pairs defend the nest-site and surrounding territory where they find food for their young.

But if you don’t have small birds in your garden you might just think the birds were great to have around as they eat carrion, rodents, and insects - keeping the local area clean and tidy.

If you have any questions about your Pied Currawongs or a photo, send it in to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

 

 

 

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