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Short films: Bitterns Boom in Rice & Tracking Bunyip Birds

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In 2013, after our first season, we made this short film to help raise awareness about these birds, their rice crop habitats and the work we were beginning to undertake. Can you spot all ten bitterns?

In 2014, as part of our crowdfunding campaign, we made this short film to help raise enough money to undertake a satellite tracking program to determine where the population goes after rice harvest and spends the colder months of the year.

Let us introduce Robbie the bittern …

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Tracking Bunyip Birds has officially begun. Our first bittern, a young male from Coleambally, is away with a satellite transmitter. He’s affectionately known as Robbie.

Everything went smoothly on April 21st, 2015, and he walked off into the vegetation, as is normal after capture of birds like this. During the first week of tracking, he moved around quite a lot, including a 1.4 km movement from late afternoon on Saturday, April 25th, through to the early hours of Sunday morning.

He’s named after Coleambally Irrigation’s Mark Robb, a stalwart of the Bitterns in Rice Project. Note that the imagery from Google Earth is old and there is actually rice where it appears there isn’t and vice versa. His transmitter sends locations of varying accuracy for eight hours and then switches off for 48 hours so that the battery lasts longer. We’re already learning a great amount. Keep an eye on this website to follow Robbie’s journey. What happened next was captivating …

 

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Robbie at April 26 2015

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