Saturday, 29 March 2014

Kuyurnpa Stretches her Wings

Our little girl has suddenly grown up! The latest and most exciting data from our satellite tracker on Kuyurnpa's back shows she has left home, and for the first time ever, roosted away from her parents' home range. This morning she was recorded in a tree near the south-west corner of the fenced enclosure, perched in a tree at 9 am. At 10 o'clock she had hardly moved, but when the GPS took its next fix at 1pm, she was soaring above a large salt lake nearly SIXTY KILOMETRES to the south!! Not long after she settled in this area and picked a roost site just east of the salt lake. Where will she go next?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Itchy Feet?

It's nearly mid-March. The male Red Wattlebirds in the south-west have begun their frequent territorial 'cough' calls, signalling that Birak (summer) is passing. Heavy rainfall in central WA has left floodwaters in the territories of our eagles, and the new season is now approaching. Could it now be time for Kuyurnpa to leave home?

Her tracking data over the last 2 weeks have revealed she has made two very long flights from Gidjee and Mulga's territory. You can see these in the above map. At midday on 26th February Kuyu was recorded 20km from home, flying about 500m above the ground (quite low given her previous heights!), near the southern boundary of Lorna Glen. She returned to the fenced enclosure that night to roost, and remained there for over a week.

Yesterday, again at midday, Kuyu was recorded 10km north-west of the enclosure, soaring 1km above a flat plain area of spinifex. Again she returned home to roost.

Do these short wanderings indicate she is getting 'itchy feet' and is starting to think about dispersal? More tracking will soon tell us!

Saturday, 1 March 2014


Nearly 300mm of rain has fallen at Lorna Glen since the beginning of this year! Summer rain is a normal occurrence in this part of Australia, but the amount varies from season to season. Last year about one third of this fell on the property, creating some very green conditions in March, but by June things had dried out. The conditions lately have made it very difficult for Lorna Glen caretakers Keith and Rhonda to get around. The roads are under water! The above photo shows one corner of the fenced enclosure, which is well and truly flooded. Here are a couple more shots of one of the large wetland areas, brimming with wonderful fresh water!

I've wondered why our tracked eagles' altitudes have been quite low over the last 3 weeks. This is probably because there has been little thermal activity, and too many thunderstorms! In wet conditions eagles spend much of their day perching in trees - flying when waterlogged is too energy demanding. It will be an amazing season this year and hopefully this rain bodes well for eagle breeding success!

Thanks to Keith and Rhonda for sending me these pictures.