Spring: new tweets

Spring has wafted in bringing some relief from the drought as swathes of wild flowers stretch across the veld.  There’s an air of triumph about  – a flap of wings and the squawking of little hatchlings.   A welcome sight in our backyard is a newly fledged Cape wagtail chick.  It plopped out of the nest like a little plum pudding and landed with a bump. The parents continue to fuss around encouraging it to fly, following with encouraging tweets.

Initially there was a setback with the first nest when it was abandoned after the local baboon troop came for a visit through the neighbourhood. They’d spent a week constructing a perfect little structure and had just lined it with soft feathers when the furry visitors rudely clambered right up the very jasmine creeper where it was sited and partially dislodged it in their rush to jump over the wall.  The birds were so spooked that they took off and disappeared for a while before returning to choose a new site to rebuild.  Happily there was a successful outcome and if the pattern of past years is repeated the adult pair may well produce two more batches of chicks this season.

11 thoughts on “Spring: new tweets

    1. 🙂 thanks I have been acting like quite the clucky mother hen – chasing off mongoose, baboon and pied crows! A tolerance for black bears is definitely up a notch – consideration for baboons would be at times useful as they offer some ecological processes to the environment :). Though can be destructive in the kitchen!

    1. He was chased out pretty promptly – though the snowdrops were flattened. The City employ a team of conservation rangers to keep the troops out of the suburbs. They use telemetry to track them through the use of VHF signal collars. Hence his ‘jewellery” and the ear tags for ID. Not such a happy solution for all the adult males which disperse from their natal troops – if they start raiding houses they’re generally euthanased.

      1. I never saw them in the suburbs when I lived on the peninsula, but did see some in Nature’s Valley on a visit in 2008. It’s a shame if they become a nuisance and have to be put down.

      2. It’s a whole prickly subject! It is sad when healthy animals are put down – though the City have an impossible job balancing nature conservation ethics with health and safety issues. There have been huge debates about relocating the impacted troops living on the urban edge to wilderness areas – but that also raises another set of issues.

  1. Troubling to hear that baboons have such a difficult plight in the urban setting. I can’t imagine a baboon problem… development in our area created the arrival of coyotes. Co-existence sounds like the coyotes here have a more peaceful outcome. Bottom line is the same on one account… humans not providing them access to food.

    1. Yes, that bottom line in not providing access is key to the whole management…. good waste/refuse management and sensible measures in baboon proofing houses certainly helps. But it’s tough for the animals as there are so many attractive options provided by urban gardens and then they learn how to optimise access into homes and kitchens. It’s not ideal either that there is an overlap of recreational facilities along the edge of the nature reserves. The City contracts a conservation rangers to manage their movements using telemetry which does help curb their incursion into the urban space.

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