Banding of the Bush-stone Curlews

Tatiara District Council is inviting members of the community to attend a public meeting regarding the proposed banding of the endangered Bush-stone Curlew birds in Bordertown.

Tatiara District Council Mayor Graham Excell is excited at the chance to get to understand the regionally endangered species.

“A pair of Bush-stone Curlews are sitting on eggs in the Bordertown Wildlife Park and this provides an exciting opportunity to undertake some bird banding work,” he said.

“This work will support understanding and management of this regionally endangered species.”

To create habitat for local Bush-stone Curlews, timber was returned to Possum Park at Bordertown earlier this year, and a pair of birds started using the new area straight away.

A large ground dwelling bird, the Bush-stone Curlew can fly but tends not to unless disturbed.

Their habitat preference is grassy woodlands – short grasses and a few shrubs enabling good visibility –  and fallen timber and leaf litter providing camouflage.

Curlews display strong site fidelity to roosting sites and can be seen at the same sites year after year, some birds banded as chicks in 2005 and 2006 are still using the same sites today.

Mayor Excell is concerned about the lack of Curlews within the Tatiara and hopes that by banding these birds, it will enable the Tatiara to get a greater knowledge of the species.

“Over the past decade we have seen a steady decline in the already limited population of Bush-stone Curlews in the South East.

“While adult birds are long lived and can survive for up to 20 years in the local environment, chicks are very vulnerable and are often targeted by foxes, dogs and cats.

“Previously, when the Bush-stone Curlews have successfully fledged chicks, it has been impossible to know where the young birds go, or what happens to them.

“Banding the chicks will help track where the birds are going, if new birds are coming in and which birds are pairing up.

“This is essential information for their protection and management,” he said.

Mayor Excell invites anyone interested in finding out more to come along to the public meeting at the Tatiara Civic Centre on Monday December 11 from 6-7pm.