It’s been a busy time for such a variety of wildlife. WILVOS 5441 6200 Hotline has some wonderful volunteers who manage hotline shifts from their own home. They find the training fascinating and learn so much about our native animals from the information provided.
Birds, echidnas, macropods and reptiles have all been getting into precarious situations over the past weeks. Baby birds are occasionally coming into care, and numbers will unfortunately increase as the months progress. Some are successfully reunited with family which is always the best outcome if the young have no injuries. A windy day can mean a number of chicks being found on the ground.
Plovers just love short grass in which to nest and lay their eggs. School grounds are so popular as nesting sites. School holidays mean an uninterrupted time for these masked lapwings and the groundsmen come and cut the grass so nicely for them! When school gets back, the plovers are calling the sporting oval home, and usually sitting on eggs – to everyone’s despair.
There have been situations where the plover eggs have been moved a short distance away and the parents have returned to the nest. This isn’t always successful, and an umbrella is good protection against ‘bombing’ parents. I love the maternal and paternal instincts of these birds. One will try to lead you away from the nest by going a short distance at a time, often feigning injury. This takes predators well away from the plover’s precious nest. This behaviour has also been observed with other birds species.
There was another case, last year, when a new warehouse was to be constructed at the same site as a plovers nest. The eggs were brought to me to be incubated and all three hatched. There so often seems to be a perfect fertility rate with native bird eggs. I guess this is nature’s way of compensating for the high mortality rate after hatching. This mortality rate will decrease as more lovely people are containing their cats, (make a cat aviary this weekend!), and controlling their dogs.
Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS) PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560 PH 5441 6200 www.wilvos.org.au