What a Hard Working Bird!

Pictures 1. A Malleefowl 2. An egg incubator mound
The Malleefowl which is an Australian Bird is truly a very hardworking bird. I read about these birds yesterday when I was reading the book The Fantastic Flying Journey to my boys. I wanted to verify what we had read because it was very interesting. My oldest really thought it was cool. Anyway my oldest and I ended up having a very interesting conversation because of this bird so it just inspired me to want to share about another one of God’s amazing creatures!! Below is a quote from the first link I listed. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/plantsanimals/TheMalleefowl.htm
http://www.malleefowl.com.au/Malleefowl.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleefowl
Link to above mentioned book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fantastic_Flying_Journey

“When most animals are sheltering from the blazing heat, the malleefowl is busy moving tonnes of sand and debris to build and maintain a nest mound in which the female lays her eggs. Malleefowl nest mounds can be over 1 m in height and 4 m across. The male buries wet leaf litter in the mound, which gives off heat as it rots, acting as a natural incubator for the eggs. Throughout the breeding season, the male has to ensure that the temperature inside the mound is maintained at about 33°C. The temperature is judged by the male putting his head into the mound, and it is thought that he tests the temperature with his tongue. He must then either remove or add sand to the mound, according to the temperature within it and the season. In spring, much heat is given off by the rotting leaves, and the temperature must be reduced. At dawn, the male digs down near the eggs, and after allowing enough heat to escape he refills the hole with cool sand. In summer, the male needs to protect the eggs from the heat of the sun. He adds more and more sand to the mound, which absorbs the sun’s warmth. Then, in the cool of the morning, he removes the sand and scatters it in the colder air. When the sand has cooled down, he puts it back on the mound. During the falling temperatures of autumn, the mound needs to be warmed up. To do this, the male digs almost all of the soil away in the morning, spreading it out to be warmed in the sun. Throughout the hottest part of the day, he places hot layers of sand on the mound, so that as the sun goes down the nest has been rebuilt and is warm for the night. While the male is keeping the temperature of the mound constant, the female is busy laying eggs and helping with the digging. Generally, an egg is laid every four to eight days (a female malleefowl lays between 15 and 24 eggs in a season). The number of eggs varies with the availability of food. “
Another fact we learned is that as soon as the egg hatches and the new Malleefowl digs there way out they immediately are able to take care of themselves. This is one of the things my oldest thought was just amazing.


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