This week we welcomed Phil and Remi to Porotona where they will be helping with the research over the coming months. Both are biologists who have been working with fairywrens and other Australian birds over the past year. We are lucky to have them on board!
Here they are knocking star fruits from the trees for an afternoon snack.
Much of our time lately has been focused on constructing small cages for our upcoming aviary experiments with the fairywrens. We’ll hold them in captivity briefly while we study the aggressive and mating behaviors of both sexes. Local biologist Doka has taken a lead on constructing an impressive construction for this purpose using only various materials cut from the bush (and some copper mesh).
We have also spent time locating fairywren nests and have logged a dozen for the year so far. Despite high predation rates, we are able to collect some useful data from the nestlings and by using cleverly disguised Go Pros to document feeding rates from the adults.
Our meals here consist of almost exclusively locally grown veggies, fresh caught fish, and coconut flavored rice. Preparing these meals takes quite a long while and effort. Here is Serena flavoring a few saucepans of veggies with coconut.
Recent collections from the garden has resulted in an abundance of tapioca, which the locals laboriously prepare and bake bread-like food items.
Finally, we have begun to see some rain over the past two weeks! The river that runs by the house has started to trickle by and we are all crossing our fingers that it will fill up and become a raging torrent soon.
I’ll end with a shot of Phil and the enormous Blue-tongued Skink he found on his first night here: