April Meeting

Wed 11 April 2018 07:30pm

Michael Lenz - Where do Noisy Friarbirds go to sleep?...more pieces of the puzzle are fitting together…”
Rob Heinsohn – Tool-assisted rhythmic drumming in Cape York Palm Cockatoos

The short presentation will be “Where do Noisy Friarbirds go to sleep?…more pieces of the puzzle are fitting together…” by Michael Lenz.

While in our region and not breeding Noisy Friarbirds sleep at communal roosts. Observations to support this claim will be presented.

The main presentation will be by Professor Rob Heinsohn of the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the ANU, on “Tool-assisted rhythmic drumming in Cape York Palm Cockatoos”.

Palm Cockatoos are large, charismatic and emblematic birds of northern Australia and New Guinea, but sadly our research suggests they are in steep decline due to large scale habitat loss from mining, changed fire regimes and low reproductive success. Members of our team have been researching their conservation biology since 1999. Palm cockatoos are also the only non-human species that manufactures and uses a sound tool. The males make drumsticks by breaking off a branch, stripping the foliage and trimming to appropriate length. They then grasp the drumsticks in one foot and beat them against a hollow trunk as part of their display to females. Our project explores this remarkable behaviour and the aspects of intelligence required to make and use tools in such a human-like fashion.

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