Animal Diaries Archive
Mulga The Black-Breasted Buzzard
22 October 2004Well this week again has brought another new entry into the bird show team and this fellow is definitely a unique Australian species. His name is Mulga and he is a young Black-Breasted Buzzard. Now what is unique about this species is that they actually use a tool to get some of their food. Sounds strange; check out this week's profile for more of an explanation. All the other birds are still travelling very well and with the warmer weather everyone (including the keepers!) looks forward to getting a bit of a hose down after the show to cool off!
Profile:Mulga,Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon)
Mulga is a young captive bred Buzzard who has obviously never had to fend for himself in the wild. Even so mulga possesses the unique talent that this species is well known for. This talent involves throwing rocks. Now you may be thinking, 'why would a bird throw a rock?’ The answer is: to break into an emu egg. Emu eggs make up part of the Buzzard's diet and these birds have worked out that by throwing rocks at the shell with their beak, they are able to crack the shell and get a very rich and tasty feed that is found within the shell. It is definitely well worth the effort of throwing a couple of rocks, just ask any Buzzard you meet. Even though the birds know to use the rocks, they still need to practice the technique and also their accuracy. Mulga has only successfully broken into four eggs out of several attempts so far, but you will be glad to hear that he busted in to his last egg on his first throw! He certainly is a crowd pleaser and a privilege to work with. So, come see us at the bird show next time you visit.