Western Ground Parrot Upates

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Shady
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Shady » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:23 pm

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project

Progress Report - September 2010

At long last the new aviaries are completed and we have moved the captive
ground parrots into their new home. On Friday 10 September the first bird,
Joy, was shifted to the new aviary and all went very smoothly. He was moved
late in the morning which meant that he’d already had a good feed that
morning and still had plenty of daylight hours to explore his new
surroundings. On release he flew and then landed near the front of the aviary
where he sat for the next hour getting his bearings.

Joy then began to explore the aviary and eventually, five hours after release,
found his way on to the food tray. In the first two days his weight dropped a
little as he seemed very wary of his new surroundings and wasn’t spending
as long feeding as he normally would. By the third morning he had begun to
put weight back on and was settling back into his normal behavior patterns.

Four days later Dawn was moved. When released into the new aviary she
flew to the back, hit the soft inner lining (designed to prevent injuries from
flying into the sides of the aviary) and dropped to the ground. She then
scurried up to the front and tucked herself under a thick clump of bush where
she spent the next four and a half hours hiding. The next day Dawn found
some of the food that had been placed around the aviary and began to feed on
that. After two days she made her way onto the food tray. Her weight had
dropped a little but she was still well within a healthy weight range. She has
continued to settle in well, she appears to be quite relaxed in her new
surroundings.

Zephyr was moved on 20 September. He was the only bird not to fly when
released into the new aviary – instead he gave my finger a good hard bite and
then ran to the back of the aviary. In the first two days he did not come to the
food tray but he did feed well on some of the other food that was scattered
around the aviary and slowly began to explore. By the third day he was
feeding on the seed in the feed tray.

Over the next few weeks, the birds will be monitored closely to ensure that
they are settling well into their new home. Once again, we have scales set up
under the feed tray and video surveillance so that we can keep a close eye on
their condition. Overall, the results of the move so far are encouraging and it
is expected that within a week or two the birds will be completely ‘at home’ in
the new aviaries.
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The New Aviaries
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The Food Prep Area
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Shady
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Shady » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:25 pm

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project
Progress Report – October 2010

In an exciting development for the project, last-minute funding has been secured to
capture an additional three or four birds to progress to a trial of captive breeding. This
will potentially give us three pairs of birds to trial breeding of WGPs in captivity and
to refine breeding techniques with a view to expand into a full-scale captive breeding
program (funding dependent).

The capture work will take place in November, carried out by a team of Department
of Environment and Conservation staff and volunteers with assistance from Perth
Zoo. The Friends of the Western Ground Parrot have organised the volunteers to
participate in the capture work and are covering volunteer expenses through a grant
recently received through DEC’s Environmental Community Grant.

Captive WGPs

The three captive ground parrots have all settled well into the new aviaries. The new
aviaries were designed so that the birds could be given the opportunity to interact with
each other, initially through a mesh divider and later by removing a panel to open up
the aviaries. When moved into the new facility, the birds were placed in adjacent
aviaries with Dawn (the female) in the middle, and the two males (Zephyr and Joy)
either side of her. This allowed us to observe how she interacted with the two males
and to ensure that there were no signs of aggression before taking the next step and
removing the dividing panel.

Initially, Dawn spent time looking into the aviaries of both the males but as the weeks
progressed she began to focus more on Joy. Joy was also very interested in watching
Dawn’s movements. By 18 October, Dawn had begun to display to Joy by lowering
her head and making a soft, repeated clucking noise. A few days after this she also
began turning around and raising her tail while doing this display. Based on these
observations, the decision was made to remove the panel dividing them.
Once the panel was removed, it took four hours before Joy made his first venture into
Dawn’s pen; however Dawn stayed hidden so no interaction took place. It wasn’t until
the following morning that the interaction really began. Dawn made a couple of early
morning forays into Joy’s pen. During one of these visits, Dawn was feeding on Joy’s
food tray but got off when she heard Joy approaching. Joy came charging up and into
the food tray, before running off again, while Dawn stood beside the tray before
getting back on and resuming feeding.

Both birds have been making regular excursions into the other’s pen and quite often
they will be seen moving around the aviary together, or foraging in the other’s aviary
for food. On the second morning, Dawn was once again helping herself to Joy’s food
tray and Joy approached to watch her. Gradually he crept closer until he was on the
tray with Dawn. He then ate one seed before running away to watch for a while and
then repeating the process. It is really encouraging to see that so soon after being
introduced, Joy and Dawn can share food without any signs of aggression.

It is hoped that Joy and Dawn will develop a pair bond and perhaps, if we are really
fortunate, they may attempt to breed this year. However, we consider that the chances
of them breeding successfully are slim as they are both still young (they are a year old
and, based on other parrot species, we did not think they would breed until two years)
and it is late in the breeding season. Even if they do not breed this year, the time spent
bonding now should be good preparation for next year’s breeding season.
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Joy and Dawn’s first encounter at the food tray. Joy is the bird on the left.

Andrew L
Exetel Staff
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Exetel

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Andrew L » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:26 am

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project
Progress Report – November 2010

The additional funding from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has allowed the capture at three more Western Ground Parrots (WGPs) which will allow the Captive Management Project to progress to a trial of captive breeding. The aim was to capture at least two females and one male. This will bring the captive population to six birds and three potential pairs to trial breeding with. As with last year, juvenile birds were preferred because they settle into captivity more readily.

On 12 November a team of DEC staff with WGP and capture expertise headed to Cape Arid to begin capture attempts. They were accompanied by volunteers from the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. The Friends were recently successful in securing funding through DEC’s Environmental Community Grants and this covered volunteer travel and food expenses. At the captive facility, DEC’s Abby Berryman and Perth Zoo’s Matt Ricci were ready to receive and settle any new birds.

This year appears to have been a good breeding season at Cape Arid. There has been a lot of calling activity and plenty of juvenile WGPs have been heard and seen. On the first morning of captures (17 Nov), four birds were caught. All were juveniles – three females and one male. It was decided to only take the male and one of the females because of the chance that the four birds were part of the same family. Because the captive population is so small, it is better to avoid having individuals that are too closely related. However, there are indications that birds of this age may form small flocks of young birds from different families but we won’t know how closely related these two birds are until genetic analysis is done.

These two birds travelled really well on the trip back to the captive facility. Both of them fed on the trip so by the time they arrived they were slightly heavier than their capture weight. They were released into the aviary that afternoon and settled very quickly, with both finding the food tray by the following morning. They rapidly became familiar with the food tray set-up and looked very relaxed while feeding – so much so that in the first two days, Nellie (the female) put on 7 grams! The male bird (Fly) has also maintained a good weight.

Another juvenile female was captured the following morning (18 Nov). She has been named Fang as she has is a feisty little bird who gives a rather painful bite. She didn’t eat on the trip back but was in good condition when she arrived. That afternoon she found the pile of native plant food and began feeding well and also made her first (albeit brief!) venture onto the food tray. By the following morning was looking very relaxed feeding on the native food as well as the seed on the food tray. Her weight is good and she looks very bright and active.

All three birds have settled remarkably quickly and are looking very relaxed in their new surroundings. The birds will be in quarantine for the next 2 months and will be screened for diseases to minimise the risk of introducing disease into the captive population. Once they have been given the all-clear they will be moved into the new aviaries with the other three captives

The capture team will be in the field until 26 November and plan to keep trying to catch more WGPs for the captive project.
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Attachments
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WGP-Fang.jpg
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Andrew L
Exetel Staff
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Exetel

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Andrew L » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:18 pm

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project

Progress Report – December 2010

In last month’s update, it was reported that three new Western Ground Parrots (WGPs) had been taken into captivity and that capture efforts were continuing. These continued capture efforts were successful and on November 24 a further three WGPs
(two males and a female) were caught, taking the total captive population to nine birds (four females and five males).

The three newest birds settled in very quickly. Two of the birds (a male and a female) were put in an aviary together. Not long after release into the aviary they could be seen sitting side by side at the back of the aviary preening each other. A little over two hours later they were both on the food tray looking very relaxed and feeding together. This has been the fastest time yet that birds have taken to find the food tray.

The other male that was captured on November 24 was put into an aviary with Nellie. Nellie had calmly walked away and hidden when we approached the aviary to release the new male. When the male was released he walked a few steps, sat and looked around for a moment and then did a short flight. The only problem was that he landed pretty much right on top of where Nellie had hidden which gave both birds a fright! Following this, they were both quite wary of each other for the rest of the day but by the following day they were beginning to relax. They now get on very well and are often seen feeding together. The male has been named Storm because of the way he introduced himself to Nellie.

On December 9 an unfortunate decision was required to euthanase one of the birds (the second female captured this year, named Fang). She had badly broken her leg when she flew into the solid wall of the aviary and despite local vets spending a lot of time trying to stabilise the fracture, the leg could not be repaired successfully. Fang was a very flighty bird and she had never settled as well as the others- she still flushed every time the aviary was accessed to change the food and water.

When the aviaries were prepared for the WGPs we put in a lot of effort erecting a shadecloth barrier inside the pen to screen the wire mesh to soften any impacts. It was thought that the birds were most at risk of injuring themselves against the wire as it wasn’t a visual barrier. The solid walls however are a very obvious barrier and we had assumed that a bird would try to avoid colliding with them. Fang however proved us wrong and in future we will soften all sides of the aviary to avoid a repeat occurrence.

The remaining five new birds have settled very well into captivity and the risk of them injuring themselves like Fang did is minimal. They all readily accept human presence at feed time and rarely flush. If they do fly, the flights are very safe and controlled. Some of the birds will even sit up on top of the vegetation and watch Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) staff members changing their food!

Acknowledgements


The capture of the new Western Ground Parrots for the Captive Management Project would not have been possible without the combined effort of staff from DEC (five Regional and two Science Division staff), Perth Zoo and volunteers.. Eight volunteers contributed a total of 889 hours to the effort! Funding for the capture work was provided by State NRM. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers involved.

Results of the 2010 Western Ground Parrot capture effort
Image

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Andrew L
Exetel Staff
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Exetel

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Andrew L » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:31 pm

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project

Progress Report – February 2011

Since their capture in November 2010, the five newest additions to the Western Ground Parrot (WGP) captive population have been in quarantine to reduce the risk of introducing disease. They have now reached the end of their quarantine period and on 14 February they
were captured and samples were taken to test for disease. Results so far have come back negative and we are just waiting on one last test result. Provided the results are negative for disease then the birds will be cleared to come out of quarantine and will be shifted into the captive facility with the three established captive birds.

Department of Environment and Conservation staff have been busy over the past few weeks putting the finishing touches on the new aviaries in preparation for the big move. Although the captive facility was completed in September last year, the aviaries that will be used to house the new birds still needed feeding platforms, shelters and video monitoring equipment to be installed.

All of the captive WGPs are doing very well and look really settled. One of the new birds in particular has become so excited by the prospect of fresh food that he sometimes comes down to have a look before we are finished feeding. However, when he sees hands coming through the feeding hatch he retreats to a safe distance. It seems to be quite a dilemma for him whether eating the fresh food is more important than keeping his distance from humans.

It is very pleasing to see that the birds have settled so well into captivity. When designing the aviaries, every effort was made to minimise human contact with the birds and to provide them with an environment that was as stress-free as possible. Birds that are relaxed and well-adjusted to captivity have a greater chance of breeding successfully.

Andrew L
Exetel Staff
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Exetel

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Andrew L » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:22 am

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project

Progress Report – March 2011

This month, the five newest additions to the captive population were cleared of quarantine after test results for disease came back negative. This meant that they could be moved into the main facility alongside the other three captive birds. The male bird (10M01) that was housed separately in quarantine was shifted first and rapidly settled into his new surroundings. Four hours after being released into his new aviary he had found the food tray and was busy eating.

The following day, the remaining four birds were moved. One pair (10M04 and 10F01) that shared an aviary in quarantine were kept together. Although they didn’t come to the food tray until the following day, both were seen shortly after release exploring the aviary and sampling the live plants that grow within the aviary.

The other pair that shared an aviary in quarantine were separated. The male (10M03) settled rapidly and found the food tray 5.5 hours after release. The female (10F05) took longer to settle and didn’t make her way onto the food tray until three days after the move. During this time she was closely monitored and was regularly sighted looking bright and alert, moving around and foraging on the live plants and other food that had been scattered around the aviary.

This female was placed in an aviary adjacent to one of the male birds captured in 2009 (09M01). Although genetic work has yet to be completed, it is thought that 09M01 is likely to be a better match as they were taken from sites approximately 20km apart. A section of wire mesh between the two aviaries provides the birds with an opportunity to see each other. Over coming months they will be monitored and if they show an interest the panel will be removed so that they can interact further. We don’t yet know the age that Western Ground Parrots are capable of breeding but it is considered unlikely that this pair will breed in the next year.

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Andrew L
Exetel Staff
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Exetel

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Andrew L » Tue May 31, 2011 11:13 am

**The following was written by the community group dedicated to the recovery of the Western Ground Parrot**
Newsupdate no. 48 – May 2011

Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Inc. news ( Sales Edition )

Fund Raising for the Western Ground Parrot

Dear readers, I would like to draw your attention to the range of merchandise available to help support the Western Ground Parrot Recovery Project.

I do not need to remind you how critical the situation is. It is unlikely that the Western Ground Parrot will be able to survive without our help, so this merchandise is a great way to show support. Funds raised through the sale of Western Ground Parrot merchandise will go to help save this bird. For example, survey equipment has been purchased including head torches, compasses and GPS's from funds raised. We have also been able to assist with equipment for the captive management program.

All saleable items have a Western Ground Parrot image and help to promote awareness of the plight of this rare parrot. Heightened awareness of the problem will make it more likely that more adequate government and private funding will be forthcoming over the next few "make or break' years. Currently, there is a wide of merchandise available, which is mentioned in detail below;

Cafe Press

10 % from items purchased at a WGP Café Press shop goes towards the recovery of the Western Ground Parrot. These website shops are easy to browse, and you will be surprised at the low prices. The designs were created by a Western Ground Parrot Friends committee member Craig Johnston. There are many items and different sizes. Having ordered a shirt and mug, I found the service to be reliable and the products of good quality. There are now five WGP Café Press Shops, each with a varied design. The WGP shops are found online at;

http://www.cafepress.com.au/kyloring
http://www.cafepress.com.au/westerngroundparrot
http://www.cafepress.com.au/westerngroundparrot2
http://www.cafepress.com.au/westerngroundparrot3
http://www.cafepress.com.au/westerngroundparrot4
http://www.cafepress.com.au/friendsofth ... oundparrot

Wine

Over 30% of the price you pay goes towards the recovery of the Western Ground Parrot. The wine comes as a well aged 2005 shiraz and 2004 touriga nationale. Though not a wine drinker, I have heard only favourable comments about this wine. These bottles make great gifts too. 2005 Shiraz – has a sophisticated, earthy and ripe, fresh strawberry bouquet reminiscent of a great pinot noir. Due to strict use of the European method of extended 2 week contact of the juice with the seeds, skins and stalks, rich fruit rather than pepper flavour is evident, which has perfectly integrated with oak following 60 months in rare Hungarian oak barrels. 2004 Touriga Nationale - this unique red wine made from the Portuguese grape, has matured for 6 years in French oak barrels. Extended contact of the juice with the skins and seed was allowed, according to the European method produce wine with a richer, more complex fruit flavour. This wine has a bouquet of dark plum and honey. Flavours of ripe, sweet cherry and chocolate persist on the palate. The wine order form is on our website (at very end of newsletter). If you are in Albany, wine can be purchased without paying the postage and also in smaller amounts than by the dozen.

Contact Deon Utber by email atwgparrot@gmail.com.

If you do not have the internet – contact Deon Utber (or Sarah Comer) at DEC Albany office; (08) 9842 4500.

Stickers

About 40% of the sticker price goes towards the recovery of the Western Ground Parrot.

To buy one to 12 stickers, send a Stamped Addressed envelope with payment to committee member Val Hack, PO Box 654 Albany WA 6331. The stickers are 10 cm x 10 cm in size. Any cheque should be made out to Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. Val’s phone contact is 0409443331. They cost a dollar each.

Monitoring the impact of the January bushfire on the Western Ground Parrot in Cape Arid
by Sarah Comer, DEC

Many Friends members will be aware that a bush fire impacted on the habitat of the critically endangered western ground parrot late in January. This bushfire started from a lightning strike sometime in the evening on Friday the 28th of January, and despite the best efforts of fire crews, ended up burning approximately 6650 ha including approximately 1000 ha of ground parrot habitat in the Poison Creek Rd area. Following an intense run of fire on the Saturday it was fortunate that the northern boundary was
held to the old Poison Creek Track alignment, otherwise several other key ground parrot habitat areas along the Telegraph Track would have been threatened.

Conditions were extreme, with wind direction and speeds extremely erratic and difficult to predict, and it is worth noting that keeping the total fire to such a relatively small size (Cape Arid sometime experiences wildfires of over 100 000 ha) was only due to the diligent efforts of the fire crews.

The habitat that was burnt, was known to have contained around 20 known western ground parrots and believed to have been an important area for breeding (this is where young birds were captured in 2009).

A recent monitoring trip, led by DEC staff and supported by the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, surveyed potential and previously occupied ground parrot habitat surrounding the burnt area. Volunteers came from as far away as the United Kingdom to help with the survey, and some were lucky enough to hear birds. The group also helped with monitoring native fauna populations, and tracking the feral cats that had been fitted with radio collars to determine the effectiveness of cat baiting efforts.

Unfortunately only a few birds were heard during this survey trip, but there are significant areas of potential habitat to the north of the burnt area that could potentially provide refugia for birds that escaped the fire. As ground parrots are highly mobile, it is suspected that at least some have moved to unburnt patches to the north of the fire, as happened after the extensive fires in Cape Arid in 2002. However, because of the large areas involved, this will take a significant survey effort to detect. Plans are being
discussed to use automated recording units to help cover some of the unsurveyed area, but future monitoring trips will also need to focus on areas to the north of the fire.

Cat baiting of the area was conducted in March of this year as part of the integrated fauna recovery project, and a second ground baiting of tracks is currently being completed. It is hoped that this important predator control will provide extra protection to birds that may have been displaced by the bushfire.

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Contacts: Brenda Newbey (Chair). Phone (08) 9337 5673 Anne Bondin (Secretary/Treasurer). Phone (08) 9844 1793
Address: PO Box 5613, Albany, WA 6332 Email: wgparrot@gmail.com
Website: http://www.western-ground-parrot.org.au
Archive: Previous issues of our newsletter are available online at http://wgpnewsletters.blogspot.com/
Editor: Stephen Fryc Email: pwazzx@gmail.com Next issue: July 2011

Andrew L
Exetel Staff
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Exetel

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Andrew L » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:44 am

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project

Progress Report – July 2011

Winter is the time of year when Western Ground Parrots are preparing to breed in the wild, so the captive WGPs will be watched with great interest over the coming months to study their behaviour and social interactions.

Of the three females, two are approaching one year of age. One of these females (10F01 – Nellie) shares an aviary with a male the same age (10M04 – Storm). The other female (10F05 - Fifi) is housed next door to the adult male (09M01 - Zephyr) – they can see each other and the dividing panel will be removed if she begins to show an interest in interacting with him.

The third female, 09F04 (Dawn) shares an aviary with a male 09M04 (Joy). Both Joy and Dawn are nearly two years old. Earlier this month, Dawn was heard making a clucking noise (like she made last year when displaying to Joy) and both Joy and Dawn appeared to be quite excited, calling, running around and doing short flights. It wasn’t entirely clear what exactly was going on between them, but it was very interesting to see this activity.

All seems to have gone quiet between Joy and Dawn at the moment but the birds are very good at being secretive and can be difficult to see within the aviary. All of the captive birds will continue to be observed over the next few months so that we can learn as much as possible about their behaviour and the way in which they interact with each other during the time when wild birds would be expected to be breeding.

Image

Andrew L
Exetel Staff
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Exetel

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by Andrew L » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:29 am

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project

August – October 2011

Over the past three months the captive Western Ground Parrots have continued to be maintained successfully with all birds in good condition.

During August, a one year old female (10F01 – “Nellie”) was seen displaying to the one year old male (10M04 – “Storm”) that she is housed with in the aviaries. The display consists of her making a clucking noise as she raises her tail. The male however showed little interest and continued feeding. No further displays have been observed since.

The two year old female (09F04 – “Dawn”) has also been observed giving this clucking display on numerous occasions since late June. Up until recently, the two year old male that she is paired with (09M04 – “Joy”) has either continued eating or backed off in response to this display. On 30 September the female’s weight began to increase despite an observed decrease in the number of visits she made to the food tray. In response, observations of this pair of birds were increased and on the 3rd of October the male was observed feeding the female. This is the first time this behaviour has been observed in captivity, and it is known to occur in natural circumstances during the breeding season.

The following day another first was observed when the two year old pair were seen mating. As suspected, the clucking display is the female soliciting copulation and she has been recorded clucking throughout the mating occasions. Since the first observation of copulation, they have been observed mating on numerous occasions over a period of three weeks, often three or four times in a day. All of the mating that has been recorded has appeared to take place at the front of the aviary where we have a surveillance camera set up to record this activity.

By 17 October the mating activity seemed to be decreasing and the female was seen infrequently during the day. It is possible that she may be nesting at the rear of the aviary hidden away from view and out of sight of the cameras. A camera will be placed at the back of the aviary to monitor the activity there, but only if the opportunity presents to do this with a minimum of disturbance to the bird(s).

Image
Joy (left) feeding Dawn.

Image
Dawn (front) in her clucking display posture. Joy stands very upright when he approaches her, lifts his feet high as he walks and holds his wings away from this body so that the aqua blue colour at the front of the wing is displayed.

raymond
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Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by raymond » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:37 pm

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project
Breeding Attempt Update
16 December 2011


Two of the captive Western Ground Parrots have been housed together in the one
aviary because they had previously shown interest in each other, through assumed
courtship behaviour. These two birds, Joy (09M04) and Dawn (09F04), had been
observed mating since the 4th of October.

By the 22nd of October, Dawn appeared to be nesting and the decision was made to
place a surveillance camera close to the nest so that we could observe the activity in
the nest area. WGPs have not bred in captivity before so it was important to learn as
much as possible about their breeding behaviour. On the 26th of October the aviary
was entered to place the camera. The nest contained two eggs, and it was assumed
that Dawn was only part way through laying the clutch. Over the following days,
Dawn returned to the nest several times, rolled the eggs and sat on them briefly, but
did not recommence incubation.

Five days after the aviary entry, on the 31st of October, Dawn had re-nested in a
different place in the aviary and was thought to have laid the first egg of a new clutch,
based on changes in her weight. From this point onwards, very little was seen of
Dawn as she spent the majority of the time on the nest incubating. During this period,
Joy fed Dawn by regurgitating seeds into her open beak. Often these feeds were done
on the nest.

Based on information about Eastern Ground Parrot incubation periods, it was assumed
that if the eggs were fertile, they would begin hatching the week of the 21st of
November. By the 4th of December, Dawn was still on the nest brooding but Joy had
stopped feeding her. On the 8th of December it seems that Dawn stopped brooding and
from this point onwards neither Joy nor Dawn appeared to have any interest in the
nest.

On the 15th of December, the aviary was entered to inspect the nest. Within the nest
were two eggs and two dead chicks. One of the eggs appeared to have no
development, while the second egg had been in the early stages of hatching when the
chick within it died. The two dead chicks were very young, with one slightly larger
than the other.

It appears that the two chicks and the third that was in the process of hatching all died
at the same time. The likely cause of death was hot weather on the 23rd and 24th of
November (32 and 35 degrees respectively). On both of these days, the temperature at
the aviary was monitored, as was the response of the other WGPs to the heat. All
other birds showed no signs of overheating, with the exception of Joy who showed
signs of heat stress, but only after sun bathing in direct sunlight during the heat of the
day. The sprinklers were turned on a couple of times to assist with cooling. However,
this would not have helped much as the nest, although partly sheltered by brush,
would have had direct sunlight into it at times during the day.

This breeding attempt was very late in the season - based on observations of wild
WGPs, they normally nest two to three months earlier, which means that that they
would not normally be exposed to such hot weather. Although the first clutch (which
was abandoned) was slightly earlier, any chicks resulting from it would have only
been about a week old at the time of the hot days and may not have fared any better in
the heat. Knowledge gained over the past few months has increased our understanding
of the requirements of WGPs for breeding in captivity. Prior to the start of the 2012
breeding period, research into what, if any, changes can be made to minimise the risk
of losing chicks to heat will be progressed.

While it is unfortunate that this first attempt at breeding in captivity was unsuccessful
at producing fledglings, it is encouraging that it progressed as far as it did. Young
birds are often unsuccessful in their first attempt at breeding so for at least three out of
four eggs from this clutch to have been viable is promising.

raymond
Exetel Staff
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:46 pm

Re: Western Ground Parrot Upates

Post by raymond » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:41 pm

Western Ground Parrot Captive Management Project
November 2011 – January 2012

The captive Western Ground Parrots are all doing well. Over the last few
months they have been going through their annual moult where they replace
their flight and tail feathers and many of their body feathers.

The sprinklers are occasionally turned on to cool the birds on hot days, and all
birds seem to enjoy the water and spend time showering in it, stretching and
fluffing their feathers. When the sprinklers are turned off, some of the birds try
to keep showering by brushing against the wet vegetation.

Over the past few weeks, we have begun training the birds to accept human
presence within the aviary and this training will continue over the next few
months. The aim isn’t to make the birds ‘tame’, but rather for them to accept
certain activities such as cleaning or pruning within the aviary as part of their
routine. Their responses to aviary entries vary, but in general they have all
responded very well.

One of the females (Nellie – 10F01) is particularly accepting of aviary entries.
Her favourite roost spot is near the aviary door and when she hears the door
being unlocked she doesn’t panic but quietly walks to the rear of the aviary.
Even after pruning has been done in her aviary she will return to the front of
the aviary to feed within minutes of the aviary being exited.

A separate report includes details about a breeding attempt by a pair of birds
during this period.

Image

Fly (10M01) after his old tail feathers had moulted out and the new tail
feathers were still growing. Usually WGP tail feathers are more than two times
this length.

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