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Peacocks at Ranthambore National Park

Peacocks and peahens prance about the Ranthambore National Forest enjoying the food found in the scrub especially near the lakes. Only a tiny hint of the splendid terracotta underfeathers from the side (see pics at bottom for a view of the magnificent plumage).peacock at ranthambore

A bird cools his feet in the in the shallow edged of the lake. His famous tail feathers are tightly folded behind him, disguising its size and splendour.

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The Private Life of Spiders by Paul Hillyard - Book Review

By Ron House

spiders - Paul HilyardAs a child I was terrified of 'bugs' in general, but I came to an accommodation with spiders when, some years ago, I found that outside our house were lots of redback spiders. I started looking closely at them, and I soon found myself intrigued. They are not aggressive spiders, not at all, but if you lightly touch their back legs, faster than the eye can see they extract from their spinerets and hold out in defence a small glistening white 'net'.

But in doing so they looked to me more threatened than threatening, and I understood why redbacks don't willy nilly make trouble with humans. From then on I have let the Book cover - Private Life of Spiders - Paul Hilyardredbacks go about their business without interference.

But it took me many years to discover that one insight into spider life. The Private Life of Spiders gave me so many more thought- and emotion-provoking insights in a few hours of enjoyable reading and viewing.

I say "viewing" because of the remarkable photographs. The pages are a colour-filled wonderland.  All the images in this post are from the book courtesy Princeton University Press.

We have webs, like frosting on the morning grass glistening with dew; spiders in riotous extremes of colour, like the translucent red, green and yellow Orchard Spider; spiders on colourful flowers; and more. And every single image is a top example of photographic skill.

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Woodpeckers At Ranthambore National Park

woodpecker at Ranthambore

Renowned for its tigers Ranthambore National Park is also a haven for birds. I had read about woodpeckers as a child in storybooks and imagined this was a bird that lived in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A. 

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Microbats At Long Grass

By Peter Richards from Long Grass Wiildlife Refuge and Bats Qld

microbat boxIn previous years Gabi and I have had microbats come in to care and those that did we had little success with. We became quite somewhat despondent about the prospect of rearing more microbats only for them to die after a couple of weeks. This year however has been different. Since the beginning of December 2011 we took 9 microbats into care and lost two of them. One of the deaths was pretty well unavoidable. A bat that was passed on to us from Australia Zoo as simply requiring a rest before being released turned out to be paralysed and had multiple injuries. The second death was a 3g furless baby that survived for 27 days and then succumbed to what I think was inhalation pneumonia after she was switched from syringe feeding to lapping as she had a habit of putting her whole nose in the milk. I will stick with syringe feeding these young ones from now on.

We have improved our microbat facilities during this season. The inner lining of a 2 man tent made a perfect bat house in the corner of our office. The tent is free-standing, lightweight, roomy and totally bat proof. 
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Don't Shoot Bats - Please tell your state & local leaders

Don't Shoot Bats - Banner

It's not too late to help - visit - dontshootbats.com to find out how you can help and for more information on bats. 

"Full exclusion netting is the only reliable method" - NSW Govt (Dept of Environment & Climate Change)

Unfortunately LNP has announced plans to shoot bats instead of following progressive ways that actually work.  Let your pollies know that these bad old ways are no longer acceptable.

Sign the petition at: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/don-t-shoot-bats.html

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