Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Two week old stone-curlew chick
Our breeding pair of stone-curlews at the bustard release site have persevered through the cold and wet weather, and now have a two week old chick.
Yesterday we were doing some management work at the site with a tractor and rotavator. The natural response of stone-curlew chicks to danger is much the same as bustard chicks - they squat in vegetation and rely on their camouflage to protect them. As a result they are particularly vulnerable to farm machinery. This means we needed to find and pick up the chick to make sure it was safe. At the same time we took the opportunity to give it a unique combination of colour rings. This will allow it to be identified as coming from the bustard release site if it fledges and breeds elsewhere in years to come. As part of the RSPB stone-curlew project up to 100 chicks are ringed in this way each year in Wessex.