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Topic: Whistling Kite
Firehawks: avian pyromaniacs may have used fire before humans

Firehawks: avian pyromaniacs may have used fire before humans

This has major ramifications for land use and conservation across Australia's northern savannahs and potentially beyond. Changed fire regimes by Europeans from those practiced for millennia by Aboriginal people wrought dramatic changes on the Australian landscape, a factor which imperilled (and continues to imperil) the existence of many native species. How do we account for birds as another potential fire vector?

“Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract)

“Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract)

In a broader sense, better understanding of avian fire-spreading, both in Australia and, potentially, elsewhere, can contribute to theories about the evolution of tropical savannas and the origins of human fire use.

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

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

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..

Ornithogenic Fire: Raptors as Propagators of Fire in the Australian Savanna

Ornithogenic Fire: Raptors as Propagators of Fire in the Australian Savanna

There is compelling evidence that at least two raptor species – the Brown Falcon and the Black Kite – act as propagators of fire within the Australian savanna woodlands and perhaps in other similar biomes elsewhere

Bird of the Week: Pied Oystercatcher … and friends

Bird of the Week: Pied Oystercatcher … and friends

I’ve been camping with a few mates in the Gippsland lakes for he past week or so and on the rare day of good sun I caught up with a few of the local waterbirds, including one of my favourites, the Pied Oystercatcher. Here are some pix of Haematopus and his mates …