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!
Monday, 14 October 2013
A Fowl bit of Driving
It is always a great shame to see wildlife hit by cars, and a much greater one when the species killed is Endangered.
The Malleefowl, or 'Gnow' in the Noongar language, is a threatened species, owing to massive parts of its habitat being cleared and fragmented, and predation by foxes. The bird above was hit by a car on a stretch of Great Northern Highway, just north of the town of Wubin. It had only been killed a few hours before we arrived, so must have been hit in broad daylight. People often have the naive view that a bird will simply 'fly out of the way', but this is often not the case, and it may only take a slight easing off the accelerator to buy the animal extra time. Malleefowl are mostly ground dwelling, and although they can flap up into tall shrubs to roost for the night, they are not particularly agile.
Male Malleefowl are responsible for maintaining the temperature of their giant egg incubator: a construction of sand, soil and leaf litter raked into a mound. Females lay eggs inside the mound and males regulate its temperature by piling extra material on or off. This time of year is the nesting season, so it's likely that this bird had a mound somewhere. If it was a male, the eggs will probably cook and no chicks will survive.
A sad ending when it would have been very easy to just slow down a bit and let it get off the road.
Posted by Simon Cherriman