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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:27 pm 
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Rangerboy_Mkuze wrote:
A proposed airport development in South Africa is threatening the winter roosting sites of three million Barn Swallows that journey there after spending breeding months in countries across Europe and other parts of the world.


Well done, Rangerboy, but sorry it's not this one but you are on the right track! I am referring to a breeding migrant. The Barn Swallow is non-breeding.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:18 pm 
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Eish is it a swallow?

Rock Martin - just a guess :redface:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:28 pm 
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Nope Zippy, - not any kind of swallow or rock martin.
I'll give you a clue (but keep it to yourself, huh) :wink:
It's kinda black.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:08 pm 
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JenB I must admit I'm not hitting anything but swallows :redface:

Rangerboy - help out here or please another clue - :redface:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:26 pm 
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Red data - Near threatened

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:28 am 
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Hi Zippy,
I must admit - it seems to be rather "Google proof"! I knew about this bird and checked my info on the internet but when Googleling the site does not come up - Sorry but that was not my intention, if we can't find tho info, we cannot learn!
(Where is Mr. Richprins? He's good at this!)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:21 pm 
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Location: In the Place Of Gold...
OK this is along shot...
Damara Tern
*It is threatened due to an increase of hotels on the beaches, more human activity on beaches, off-road vehicles are destroying nests, land claims and dredging...
*Is a breeding migrant but don't know about the "It's kinda black" part. :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:34 pm 
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Hi Candy's Style,

No, it's not this one either but you have just tought me something as well!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:15 pm 
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Anyone else wanting to try or shall I post the answer and get the ball rolling again?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:31 pm 
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.. not found :| ... Kestrels, corncrakes and crowned eagles are also concerned ... ??? 8)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:40 pm 
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All concerned - but not one of them!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:07 pm 
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Ok. here it is!
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Threat to Black Coucal breeding site.
by Hugh Chittenden

Isn’t it ironic that the one thing that most South Africans really wanted was to secure the 2010 soccer World cup bid, and that successful bid now becomes the nemesis for one of southern Africa’s rarest breeding birds – Black Coucal. Construction work on this new airport site is due to commence any day now so that the airport will be ready for the 2010 World Cup. This means that the Black Coucals will be setting up breeding territories in vain at the end of November and early December this year (2006)!

The La Mercy Airport (north of Durban)
During the 1970s a new airport site was constructed north of Durban but plans were shelved and the leveled site soon became overgrown with a thick mat of dense grass – ideal habitat for these scarce summer breeding migrants.

Recent site history
Black Coucals Centropus grillii were first located on the airstrip site in 2003 by Geoff Nichols, Durban’s horticultural (and birding) guru. In January 2004 two nests were located by Greg Davies and Murray Christian. At least 3 - 4 breeding males have been active in this knee-high grassland region during the past two years but sadly this is all due to come to a very abrupt end.

Black Coucal habitat requirements
Black Coucals require moist, dense, short grassland in which to breed. Sadly, because of extensive sugar cane farming in the eastern regions of KwaZulu-Natal, this is in extremely short supply. There are fairly extensive grassland areas in the protected margins of Lake St Lucia and southern Mozambique but they lie on relatively sandy soils where the grass cover is less dense and mostly unsuitable as breeding habitats for Black Coucal.

Alternative habitat
Ideally, what the Coucals need is an alternative patch of moist grassland. Are there any Sugar Cane farmers out there prepared to ‘donate’ or abandon a patch of agricultural land for this small doomed population of Black Coucals?

Polyandrous breeders
Black Coucals are polyandrous breeders. Females pair up with suitable males, lay a clutch of 3 – 4 eggs in the nest prepared by the male, then vacate the habitat in search of other males ready to breed! In this way females are capable of laying a number of clutches in a season if there are enough males in the vicinity. Of course the males are then left to incubate the eggs and brood and feed the young on their own.

Red Data species
Black Coucal is listed as a Red Data species in South Africa and regarded as Near-threatened.

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 Post subject: Wikipruffe!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:19 pm 
Eish, that was a tough but fascinating one, jenb! :shock:

Guess you'd better put up the next quiz, as there were no winners! 8)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:35 pm 
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Here goes:
1.Which predator is able to see in the ultra-violet light spectrum?
2.What is the advantage of this?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:03 pm 
Well, there are many, you need to define which group of aninals you are talking about.

For example: Solenopsis punctaticeps the Fire Ant which preys on termites and invadeds the nests of other ants. Like all insects, they can see into the ultraviolet spectrum.

Some snakes too can see into the ultraviolet spectrum. For snakes which prey on rodents, this could allow them to see urine trails and hence, dinner.


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