Most people are indulging in a little sleep in at 7am on a Saturday morning or planning which housework task needs to be tackled first but this wasn’t the case last Saturday. The Arid Recovery crew and dedicated eager volunteers were up and enjoying the cool calm morning, undertaking a birds of prey survey within the reserve.
Although not usually a focus of Arid Recovery research, the recent birds of prey survey was undertaken to provide us with base data required for future studies. With their spotter eyes on high alert the group split into teams to drive their designated sections of the reserve.
Volunteers were on high alert for a number of birds common to the area including Wedge- tailed Eagles, Nankeen Kestrels and Brown Falcons. Over a late breakfast the results were combined and discussed and challenges were issued as to who had spotted the most birds.
“It’s an absolutely gorgeous morning to be out at the reserve,” remarked Arid Recovery ecologist Helen Crisp. “We are so thankful these volunteers have given up their morning to help us out and contribute to the future research programs at Arid Recovery.”
Results showed there were high numbers of Wedge- tailed Eagles within the reserve as well as Black Shouldered Kites. By dividing the number of kilometres driven and the number of birds recorded and estimate of approximately 0.5 birds of prey per kilometre was devised. "Because we don't have any other similar scenarios to compare it to we are not sure yet if this is an average dispersal of birds or not. We are also experiencing relatively good conditions at the moment so this may also have affected numbers but that is all part of the fun of ecology," commented Helen Crisp.