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 Post subject: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:16 pm
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For my masters project I want to study thermal tolerances of the Southern Red Bishop. Mountain Zebra NP area would be an excellent place to study the birds reponses to the cold.
Does anyone know if there is a breeding population of Red Bishop in or close to Mountain Zebra NP? Has anyone seen Red Bishops in the area of mountain Zebra NP in July?

Any help will be greatly appreciated,
Many thanks,
Tanja


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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
Posts: 47
Location: Barkly East
If Red Bishops are present in MZ in summer I'm certain they are there winter. I live in Barkly East which is very cold in winter (one of the coldest places in the Republic) and we regularly have snow. We have a healthy population of Red Bishops in the area. They are easily overlooked in winter as they go into 'eclipse' at the end of summer. We have a feeding tray in our garden and have just followed the whole process of the bright red and black beauties turning in the little browny jobs. The males have the same plumage as the females have all year round, in winter. They start getting their breeding plumage in late September/October again.


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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Thank you very much for your information. It is good to know that the Red Bishops in Barkly East endure the cold, it is actually amazing!
For my project I am looking to compare energy expenditures of two populations of Red Bishop. One population will be in Port Elizabeth where the birds don't experience the extreme temperatures and the other population I am still trying to find.

I am looking for a site in the Eastern Cape where temperatures drop below zero in winter. I am trying to find this site close to PE as possible to keep the transport costs low.
If you know of any other populations (Middelburg, Cradock, Queenstown)? Any information will be appreciated. It would help me a lot.

Many thanks,
Tanja
tanjamaria22@hotmail.com


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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 41648
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
Hi Tanja,

I wrote to the Section Ranger at MZNP with your initial post. Herewith her reply:

Quote:
Hi Dalene

Please reply to this lady thanking her for her enquiry.

We unfortunately do not have a large colony of red bishop birds in Mountain Zebra National Park, although we do see a few individuals during breeding season in one of the reeded river crossings along Kranskop loop.

We don’t have records of sightings as early as July (as it’s still too much in the deep of winter).

I suggest, if you are capable, to visit Addo Elephant National Park. Although their temperatures don’t reach as cold as MZNP, they do have a very large colony and a superb bird hide in which to view the birds.

Their breeding season (in summer-rainfall areas as is the Eastern Cape) are September to March, which is the best time to view them in large colonies in their breeding plumage and, of course, courting and nesting.

Lastly, there is quite a lot of information on the internet (as well as links to research papers), which may assist you with the information you require regarding thermal tolerances.

I hope this assists with your enquiry. Please let me know if it is not suitable for you to visit AENP (or it’s too far a field) so that I can find out more about breeding colonies in this (Cradock) area, however I strongly suggest AENP for excellent viewing opportunities.

Kind regards

Robyn Woods (Miss)
Senior Section Ranger
South African National Parks (Pty) Ltd
Mountain Zebra National Park


It might be an idea for you to email Robyn directly yourself - if you would like to do this, please PM me.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
Posts: 47
Location: Barkly East
I'm sorry that you don't wish to study here but can quite understand the transport contraints. The Red Bishop populations here are quite huge. There are many healthy colonies just about all over our district and some of them are very big. I've counted well over 50 at a feeding table elsewhere in town so that indicates that they tolerate cold conditions rather well. Barkly has already had its first few frosts and these go on until August. The coldest I can recall during the time (50 years) I've lived here was minus 14 degrees and all our house pipes froze but the little bishops somehow survived.


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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:41 pm 
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Location: Randburg
Birdie - Any idea what the figures are like in Hogsback?

Just a thought as it is a bit closer for Tanja22.. :hmz:

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Croc Bridge - 6 April 2012
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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
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Location: Barkly East
Cherries, sorry I don't know anything about Hogsback - I've never even been there! (Ashamed to admit) Its only about two and a half hours drive from here.


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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:16 pm
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Thank you all for sharing your ideas and thoughts with me. I really appreciate all your effort to help me. I have explored Hogsback myself, but the bishops seem to move to lower altitudes in winter (Fort Hare).
Fortunately I have convinced my supervisor that we need to travel to Barkly East to study the Red Bishops. So I would really like to get in contact with Birdie personally if possible? I would like to know where I can find a large population of Red Bishops.
Many thanks for all your help so far,
Tanja


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 Post subject: Re: Are there Red Bishops in Mountain Zebra NP in winter?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 8:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:27 am
Posts: 11
Location: Barkly East, Eastern Cape
Hi there. Birdie (My mom) can't log on this morning for some or other reason. We are all very excited that you may be visiting Barkly East. Can you please contact her at klip@xsinet.co.za as she has much to tell you. Thanks

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KNP Many December


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