Great excitement amongst local & interstate ornithologists
The Australian Painted Snipe is a striking bird; males have greenish backs and wings with chestnut spots and females have a dark maroon head and throat with fine barring on their wings. It is an extremely rare bird, with an estimated total population of less than 1500.
Indigo Shire Council Mayor Cr Peter Graham said this exciting find had certainly put the district on the map in the last two months, with visitors from interstate and overseas all excited about being able to view these usually secretive birds at close range.
“Chiltern and surrounds has a bird list of over 220 species and the National Park with its box and ironbark habitat and surrounding wetlands supports a great diversity of species,” he said.
“Normally they are so difficult to find as they are found in tall rushes in wetlands and one needs waders to get to them and then one often gets only a flying view whereas these birds just stand there to be admired!”
A total of five birds has been recorded at the local site, one adult male and four juveniles – around one month old.
It is intended that the Friends of Chiltern Park, with support from Indigo Shire, will seek funding to help with the recovery of the threatened species. One idea is to fence off plots in the local wetland site to better protect potential breeding areas from factors such as trampling from stock.
The Painted Snipe is listed as a Vulnerable Species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Critically Endangered under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
For further info contact:
Shay Simpson, Indigo Shire Council
Chris Tzaros, Birds Australia
T:03 9882 2622