I just saw a kookaburra grab a goldfish from the bottom fishpond. The more fish the kookaburras take, the worse the mosquitos will be. Between the kookaburras and the night herons, we are lucky to have a couple of fish left in that pond. The frogs have all been eaten and I’m ready to give up on the pond. There is plenty of cover for the fish to hide but those birds have such sharp eyes.
A few weeks ago, before the kookaburras came, we could see the fish enjoying basking in the sunny spots in the pond. We had managed to trick the night heron (Nankeen) by stringing a tripwire around the top pond. Neighbourhood cats managed to break the tripwire and I also broke it when I was cutting back one of the shrubs right on the edge of the water. The breaks were all fixed up and the top pond seems to have a few fish left.
We don’t really want to buy more goldfish for the kookaburras to eat! Expensive food for these pests. You may not know this, but kookaburras are not native to Western Australia and were brought here from the Eastern States because they are so ‘iconic’ to Australia. They wreak havoc on the small wrens and other small birds, raiding their nests and so on.
I’ve just been reading Michele Phillips‘ blog about mice and decided to post my comment to her on my own blog (plus a bit more)!
We’ve got mice here in Walpole (about 120kms west of Albany). Late autumn – winter is definitely mouse season in the south west of Western Australia! I trap them because poisoning often means stinky corpses behind the cupboards or the dog eating dead mice. I bury their little corpses in the garden so they are recycled! Living in the forest I worry that the animals I trap may be little marsupials but so far no pouches. Anyway, I use peanut butter or chocolate to bait the traps. I’ve discovered you actually have to feed the mice up to make them heavy enough to spring the trap (theory, not fact).
According to the website from which I took the picture, mice plagues have been occurring in Australia since 1917.
Mice breed in the southern hemisphere from August to May. They breed from 6-8 weeks of age and a female mouse is pregnant for 19 days then re-mates 1-3 days after giving birth. Litters contain 5-10 young and one breeding pair of mice and their offspring has the potential to produce 500 mice in just 21 weeks. The problems of mouse plagues are not simply economic. Swarms of mice can invade households, hospitals, livestock pens, food storage and other facilities causing significant damage to infrastructure. They also pose a major threat to health and welfare, inflicting stress on humans and livestock. Mice also carry a number of diseases which affect humans and livestock including Salmonella and swine encephalomyocarditis
All-in-all, it is not good to have the little vermin in the house. In our house there is a competition running on who catches the most mice – and so far I’m winning and my husband is way behind. However, he is the one who has to take the mice out of the trap because it makes me feel quite ill! It isn’t very yogic trapping mice.
To move on to something more savoury … fairly early this morning while I was doing my yoga practice on the verandah, a kookaburra swooped down and sat on the railing to watch. The little black dog was not impressed and the bird just looked at her, sharpened his beak on the railing and then flew away. I thought he may laugh but not today!