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FEATURE


Are baby Major Mitchell’s a noisy feeder when being fed in the nest and can that noise be heard from a distance?


Good question! Yes they are a noisy feeder and that is to their detriment. The major predator is Goannas and each year they kill large numbers of baby Major Mitchells and in the early part of the season also take the eggs. Goannas bite into and suck out the contents of the eggs. If the Hen Major Mitchell lays a second clutch, the Goanna will usually return for a second time. It is important to note that Goannas know that Major Mitchells return to the same nest each year so immediately they come out of hibernation they do the yearly rounds of the nests. Other predators at the nests are feral cats, possums and foxes, once the baby Major Mitchell’s leave the nest and at this early age are unsure of predators.


Prevent predators from attacking the nests of Major Mitchell Cockatoo? Most certainly: The most effective method of preventing predators from climbing nest trees is to attach a collar around the tree with the base of the collar one metre from the ground.


What is the collar made of? Smooth galvanized tin or heavy duty plastic. Both need to be one metre wide and can be cut to size and nailed around the tree. This method has proven to be fully successful. The tin or clear plastic is very slippery and doesn’t allow the predator to climb the tree. Research has shown that where Major


Mitchell’s nesting trees were collared up – not one nest was lost to predators.


Other predators at the nests are feral cats, possums and foxes, once the baby Major Mitchell’s leave the nest and at this early age are unsure of predators.


BIRD SCENE 33


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