Rotunda Park #5

To round off my series on Newstead’s Rotunda Park I thought I’d feature one of its signature species, the White-browed Babbler. At present there is a group of ~ ten birds resident in the Park – the shrubs near the memorial cairn providing ideal shelter and foraging habitat.

WBB3

White-browed Babbler, Rotunda Park Newstead, 17th February 2016

Ten years ago I was worried about the future for this species in the local area – numbers were dropping and I wasn’t seeing family groups in the same places as I’d grown used to finding them back in the mid-1980s. Their comical cousins, Grey-crowned Babblers, plunged to local extinction around this time and it seemed the ‘White-brows’ might go the same way. Happily their future seems more secure now. The key to their survival is good habitat – deep leaf litter for foraging and shrubs in which to make their roosting and breeding nests, is the key.

WBB4

II

WBB5

III

WBBabbler1

IV

WBBabbler2

V

3 responses to “Rotunda Park #5

  1. good to know they are surviving in this area Geoff.

  2. Grey-crowned Babblers unfortunately disappeared from the Melton area in the twentieth century, after a slow decline. Apparently Eynesbury Forest was their last refuge until the eighties. Litter is virtually non- existent as the forest was grazed until the end of the twentieth century. Fallen timber was also regularly collected for firewood, according to a former employee.

  3. I guess this means their populations are negatively effected by frequent fire regimes?
    Has something changed locally (new park, council policies) to encourage their revival?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s