September Meeting — Online

Wed 08 September 2021 07:30pm

Alice Wells and Jean Casburn - Bluett’s Block: Wildlife Haven and Corridor
Claire Taylor - Cracking egg investment: maternal investment in superb fairy-wrens


The short presentation will be by Alice Wells (retired entomologist/editor) and Jean Casburn (COG member), titled “Bluett’s Block: Wildlife Haven and Corridor”.

 The presentation will place Bluett’s Block in the context of its history and location between present and imminent housing developments.  Alice and Jean will outline the attributes of Bluett’s as a valuable wildlife corridor, rich haven for wildlife (especially birds), and its residual box-woodland habitat and diverse flora.  A strong push is underway to persuade the Government to afford permanent protection to Bluett’s.  In relation to this they will touch briefly on several relevant ACT Government NES Plan documents and outline ongoing efforts to obviate perceived threats to what they hope will be the future of the Block.


The main presentation will be by Claire Taylor, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Melbourne, on “Cracking egg investment: maternal investment in superb fairy-wrens”.

Claire will discuss how mothers investing in their young is often influenced by the physical and social environment. The physical environment, such as temperature and rainfall, affect the resources that mothers have to invest, whereas social conditions may influence how many carers offspring have. Claire and her colleagues investigated the influence of the social and physical environment on maternal investment in cooperatively breeding Superb Fairy-wrens, which breed as both pairs or groups when offspring from previous breeding attempts stay and help. Their work has found that the environment, both physical and social, is incredibly important for Superb Fairy-wren maternal investment in egg size and the resulting chick mass. In addition, that the assistance provided by helpers (when breeding in groups) allows females to more finely tune their investment in eggs and nestlings to the prevailing environmental conditions.

Post event report

A recording of this meeting is available here.  This is a trial so editing is not finalised. 

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