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Why the chicken crossed the road. And how.

Why the chicken crossed the road. And how.

Bob GosfordJan 7, 2017

On Chickens: Chickens have the capacity to reason and make logical inferences. For example, chickens are capable of simple forms of transitive inference, a capability that humans develop at approximately the age of seven

Bird of the Week: Willy Wagtail -

Bird of the Week: Willy Wagtail - "where's my dinner Mum?"

Bob GosfordJan 2, 2017

The local pair of Willy Wagtails have taken advantage of the great season we are having in the centre this year and so far have raised two clutches, and I'll expect that, as prime examples of avian opportunism in the desert, they may raise another couple yet in this season.

Bird Hide of the Week: The Buffalo Hide, Darwin

Bird Hide of the Week: The Buffalo Hide, Darwin

Bob GosfordDec 22, 2016

Is it not too much to ask that if we are going to the effort of building something from which the public will gain great pleasure that such structures should not also be beautiful as well?

'Troublemakers for fire' - Raptors spreading fire in Australian savanna woodlands

'Troublemakers for fire' - Raptors spreading fire in Australian savanna woodlands

Bob GosfordOct 1, 2016

Fire provides the opportunity for pyrophilic behaviour by some birds. Brown Falcons perch at the fire-front waiting for grasshoppers, frogs, snakes, lizards and small mammals. Whistling Kites and particularly Black Kites, Milvus migrans, spectacularly hawk around the curtain of flame, preying on grasshopper, cockroaches and other small fleeing animals. Local Aboriginal people believe that Brown Falcons and Black Kites set fires by carrying burning sticks to new locations and drop them into dry grass on unburnt grounds.

Bird of the Week: Straw-necked Ibis, Longreach Waterhole, NT

Bird of the Week: Straw-necked Ibis, Longreach Waterhole, NT

Bob GosfordSep 8, 2016

A few of the birds that passed by my lens while I was camped at one end of the Longreach Waterhole just west of the small NT town of Elliott..

What was the first name for grasswrens?

What was the first name for grasswrens?

Bob GosfordAug 15, 2016

In Pitjantjatjara country we know that the local name for Rhipidura leucophrys is tjintir-tjintirpa. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the scientific name, if you’re musically inclined and have an ear for Australian bird songs, you might recognise tjintir-tjintirpa as an onomatopoeic rendition of the ratcheting call of the Willie Wagtail.

RIEL Seminar - Brown Falcon and Black Kite as propagators of fire in the Australian savanna

RIEL Seminar - Brown Falcon and Black Kite as propagators of fire in the Australian savanna

Bob GosfordAug 12, 2016

Anecdotal historical reports from qualified observers support the hypothesis that this is a hitherto-undocumented tool-using behavior that, if verified to satisfy the standards of Western ecologists, will have important ramifications for understanding pyrophytic landscape evolution as well as human-bird relationships.

Tool use in birds - on fishing Herons and Black Kites

Tool use in birds - on fishing Herons and Black Kites

Bob GosfordJun 26, 20161 Comment

"We think it is incredible this bird thought out the whole operation from catching a crab to converting into a bigger prey of a fish--and resisted the temptation to just eat the crab," Suzanne Hills and Chris Cromey.

Why Malheur NWR matters and

Why Malheur NWR matters and "armed, out of state militia groups" don't

Bob GosfordJan 5, 20162 Comments

The occupation of Malheur by armed, out of state militia groups puts one of America’s most important wildlife refuges at risk. It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers. The occupiers have used the flimsiest of pretexts to justify their actions.

Bird of the Week: Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis

Bird of the Week: Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis

Bob GosfordNov 11, 2015

En-route back to Mojave from Sacramento last Sunday I stopped in at the Merced National Wildlife Reserve, one of a chain of wildlife reserves throughout the extensive agricultural region of the Central Valley.

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