Long term readers will know of my fascination with all things Choughness.
White-winged Choughs can be both frustrating and rewarding to follow. Some families seem to have a high human tolerance and I’ve had them hunt around my feet and sit on the same log with me. Others. No matter how much time I spend, they just keep moving on.
They are not the world’s greatest aeronauts and I often think that if they can run to the next location that is their preferred method of locomotion.
They also have quite well established family rules. Which they understand, while I must guess what is going on. And at just about every encounter, I come away impressed by some new view of choughness.
One family we see regularly in the You Yangs have just managed to get a couple of young ones off the nest. Now comes the job of teaching these little ones all the rules of choughness. And its a big task. The young birds are quite clueless. And they have an average attention span of about 1 millisecond. “Is it food”, seems to be the total of their ability to reason. So the adults have to spend quite a bit of time working with young. And because of their lack of reason, they are easily enticed away by other families offering “bigger grubs”. Oh boy, I gotta go
Choughs need quite a large family size, at least six or seven adults to raise a young. Larger groups have more flexibility and its reported, more success.
Found the family at work around some rocks, and settled down for a sprinkle of choughness to add to my day.