Birders report rare signing of an Australian Bustard at Raleigh

The Australian Bustard near Raleigh.

 

TWO Australian Bustards have been sighted on the Coffs Coast.

“We have been thrilled by the discovery of two Australian Bustards near Raleigh,” Richard Jordan from Bellingen Birders told News Of The Area.

“These huge birds are endangered in NSW and, in any case, would normally only be found hundreds of kilometres inland from the Coffs Coast.

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“So, their presence here is difficult to explain, and very exciting.”

Keen twitchers have been flocking to see these magnificent birds from as far afield as Glenreagh and Kempsey.

The Australian Bustard is our heaviest land bird able to fly, with males having an average weight of 6.3kg, and with some attaining more than 12kg.

“The bird is truly majestic in flight, with a wingspan of around two metres,” said Richard.

“’Our bustards have been with us for at least a week now (from 28 June), and they will probably stay for a while as they seem to be finding plenty of food.

“We have seen one of the birds catching a frog, but grasshoppers and other large insects plus fruits and seeds can also be included in their diet.

“They may well be a pair, so there is always the chance we shall see some fluffy little chicks in the spring,” Richard said.

“We have had feedback from a local resident who takes an interest in birds.

“She claimed to have previously seen a bustard in the area around two years ago, near the Norco Milk Factory.

“This record will probably remain unconfirmed unless someone can come forward to corroborate it.”

Richard asks News Of The Area readers if anyone can assist with any information?

“This last week has been one of high excitement for our birders.

“We would love to hear from you if you believe you have seen a bustard, or any other unusual bird, in our region.”

Contact Richard Jordan at [email protected] or 0428 385 677.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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