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Archive for the ‘fantail’ Category

Desperately cold wild fantails have made a nest of a South Canterbury home as the polar storm sweeping the country takes a huge toll on our birdlife.

Experts expect millions of birds to die as a result of the polar blast covering the country.

For Doug Sail in Hunter, 40 kilometres south of Timaru, the warmth of his dryer drew in three frozen fantails and he unwittingly saved their lives.

“I noticed them flying around the back door trying to get in. Occasionally they tried to fly in through the window and hit the glass.

“I needed to let the room air out and when I left the door open, all of a sudden there they were – three of them.”

He said the chilly birds made themselves quite at home and remained for about five hours.

“You couldn’t shoo them out, they wouldn’t go out through the open door.”

They were so determined to stay that when he shut the door to get them out, the birds simply found another way in.

“They flew in through the open toilet window. Then, thinking they were just cold, we decided to leave them”

As the creatures huddled together for warmth, Doug and his wife Emily Gilbert took photos and videos.

“It’s something I’ve never seen before. I was surprised at how tame they were.

“When my wife was taking a video clip of them, one of them landed on her camera while she was filming.”

Video and Full story on stuff.co.nz

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click on the image of john campbell  for direct link to tv3 video

In a few days it will be spring and the birds will be in full song.

But in some parts of the country it will be an extremely muted song.

In fact there are now areas known as ‘bird deserts’ where there are virtually no native birds.

We know these regions exist because birdwatchers have just spent five years in the field finding out how many birds there are, and where they live – information for the latest edition of the New Zealand Bird Atlas.

Richard Langston with a story on the plight of our birds.
link

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Scoop: OSNZ publishes significant scientific resource

Scientific knowledge about New Zealand birdlife took a great leap forward today as the Ornithological Society of New Zealand published the Atlas of Bird Distribution in New Zealand 1999-2004.

The atlas was launched today at Government House in Wellington by the Administrator of the Government, Rt. Hon. Dame Sian Elias. Birds are some of the best natural indicators of the health of our environment – an environment we like to promote as clean and green.

President of the Ornithological Society, Professor Richard Holdaway said that the bird distribution atlas has demonstrated dramatic and rapid changes in bird distribution in all parts of the country since the 1970s. As land use has changed, so have the communities of bird species in those areas.

Examples of this included areas that have changed from exotic forest to dairying, and areas that have reverted from cleared land to native scrub. Species that did well in the first habitat have been pushed out as the land was converted. Atlas project Convenor, Christopher Robertson notes that “Green in colour we may be, but these atlas surveys continue to demonstrate that some of that greenness is both increasingly monocultural, and the battleground of territorial invaders among the avifauna. New Zealand endemics are retreating to enclaves where introduced mammalian predators increasingly threaten the food supply, productivity, and individuals of remnant species.”    more

http://osnz.org.nz/

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Media release: Fun format for garden bird survey

Male bellbird

Calling all bird watchers! Your help is requested for a national Garden Bird Survey.

With a simple and fun format, anyone from seasoned bird watchers to families and school groups can take part in the survey, which has proved popular overseas. In the UK more than 400,000 people participated in last year’s survey, with a tally of eight million birds.

“Are our common bird populations increasing or decreasing? That’s the question we want to answer,” says Landcare Research scientist, Eric Spurr. more

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The Department of Conservation is to eradicate mice on three Abel Tasman National Park islands so they can become pest-free sanctuaries for native species. DOC Motueka area manager Colin Wishart said mice were currently the only mammalian pests on Adele, Fisherman’s and Tonga islands and their removal would enhance the islands’ native vegetation and wildlife.Bird species which would benefit from the eradication of mice include kereru, grey warblers, silvereyes, fantails and bellbirds.Monitoring would take place after the operation to check for signs of mice, Mr Wishart said.

It takes two years of monitoring without sign of rodents before successful eradication can be confirmed.    more

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#115: Sanctuary Visitor & Education Centre gets the green light

Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre gets green light

“The Karori Sanctuary is perfectly positioned to showcase New Zealand conservation and to bring our conservation story to life, especially for those thousands of New Zealanders who never normally have the opportunity to experience conservation in action. It is estimated the Visitor and Education Centre will attract 190,000 visitors a year, thus securing the Sanctuary’s future financially and enabling us to build on our position as a pioneer and leader in ecological restoration.”

“This is a wonderful tribute to the foresight and courage of our founders, not to mention the many thousands of volunteers, members, supporters and financial sponsors who have supported us and worked so hard to get us to where we are today,” said Karori Sanctuary Chief Executive Nancy McIntosh-Ward.

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Piwakawaka, the fantail

[blip.tv ?posts_id=214197&dest=-1]

music by trinity roots

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