Saturday, May 20, 2006

More Moorhens?

John & Shirley Tongue write: We don't often come across Dusky Moorhen in Tassie--though I hear they are consolidating and expanding their range. One exception is at the New Norfolk Sewerage Treatment wetlands, where we have seen them a couple of times. Today (Thursday) was no exception, though we did only see the one bird (accompanying pic), and that a juvenile, as evident by the dull bill.
{Editors note: Back in the '70s they were commonly seen at the old Launceston Tip site (built on a wetland!). A slow increase in numbers around the state, especially in the North of the state, since then. Once, the numbers fluctuated, and it was assumed these represented birds from the Mainland, but Moorhen certainly now breed here. Common on King Island}


Felix Wilson said...

I saw a single bird at Goulds lagoon over the summer, but it was probably not resident there as I havn't seen it again since.

Do the Purple Swamphen and Native Hen coexist peacefully with the Dusky Moorhen?
Perhaps the "slow" progress is because of these species harassment and competition for territory.

John Tongue said...

It's an interesting question. Have seen Moorhens doing very well in the presence of swamphens on the mainland, but of course, no Native Hens. Maybe they are the key ingredient.