We understand that sometimes with our projects, things can go wrong due to circumstances beyond our control. This is such the case with a recent report we received from our project partners, Mt Rothwell, with whom we are working on the Bush Stone-curlew breeding program.

Some facts on Bush Stone-curlews:

  • Bush Stone-curlews can live for 18 years,
  • they stay with their mates for life, and
  • when birds are moved and paired, it can take up to a year for them to settle enough to breed.

We were quite eggcited when we first saw the Bush Stone-curlew egg, just over a month ago. At the time, we thought it was quite unusual for a new pair to lay as quickly as they did. Two days later, there was another egg!

George was a male brought in from Melbourne Zoo to Mt Rothwell 5 years ago. While females were incredibly difficult to access, George went to Serendip Sanctuary, also taking part in the Bush Stone-curlew breeding program. Once females became available at Mt Rothwell, George was brought back. Within a week, George was sitting on an egg! The challenge was to work out who was the lucky female. With the careful placement of cameras, it was eventually worked out the female sharing sitting duties with George was a young 1 year-old female called Freckle.

Freckle is a young 1 year-old female brought in from Halls Gap Zoo with her twin sister Sparkle. Sparkle was transferred to Serendip Sanctuary to be paired with another male. In her case, the experienced male successfully mated with Sparkle, and one of the two eggs hatched and produced a chick.

After waiting for a week and a half after the hatch-date, it became apparent that George and Freckle's eggs - were not going to hatch.

Theoretically, with the eggs now removed, their efforts may be refocussed to actually mate and produce a fertile egg which will produce a little curlew chick. Breeding season runs throughout the summer into January so George and Freckle have plenty of time yet to have another go at becoming parents.

To make a donation or for more information, visit the project page of the website.

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