Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Window in the Nest-box

Today I saw this beautiful family of Pacific Black Ducks on the dam. After exactly 4 weeks of incubation, this proud mum has successfully hatched her brood - baby animals are definitely some of the cutest beings Late rainfall in the Perth Hills has given us a very wet August - good weather for ducks! Plenty of pond life is flourishing on the wetland surrounding their mother's nest site, giving these ducklings ample food, especially small insects, which they begin snapping at instinctively on their first day on Earth. Time will tell how many survive - unfortunately most of this family are likely to end up as food for goshawks, ravens and even Long-necked Turtles, which while swimming can easily gulp them up from below. This makes it especially important to keep your pet cats and dogs away from native wildlife, which has a tough time as it is with a vast range of natural predators. Please share to promote responsible pet ownership.

Here is a short video offering a glimpse at the female duck returning to incubate her eggs. Notice how careful she is to tuck the down feathers close to her body, sealing in that vital warm air to prevent the eggs chilling. Also (not shown in this video), she moves the eggs around underneath her, altering their position in the 'circle' and to ensure even warmth reaches each egg. This regulates the temperature and means all eggs will hatch at the same time, so the family can depart the nest together.

Incubation Glimpse from Simon Cherriman on Vimeo.

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