Man. I am living on the wrong side of the world. What a glorious, unimaginable sight that must be. I wonder if people who live around that all their lives take advantage of it, not realizing how terrifically cool it is to have wild parrots in the trees.
I wonder what I take advantage of, that someone in Australia (or anywhere, for that matter) would chew their left arm off, to see.... ?
Australia is fantastic (yes a Kiwi is saying that!!!) but don't underestimate the States - after all you have BEARS which I really would chew my arm of to see along with chipmunks, squirrels, eagles, raccoons. Come on, you have all those cute furry things - we don't even have hamsters here. Oh and one day I really really want to see a moose! (are they in the states or only canada??)
Here in NZ we tend to specialise in flightless birds like kiwi, weka and kakapo. The kakapo is the world's largest parrot - and is very endangered- at one point there were less than 50 left. They are really cute. Our only native mammal is the bat and they are really rare so most new zealander's have never seen them....and I'm sure not many people are envious of giant wetas and the like.
Melissa, thanks for your thoughts on our animals. Funny how it's all perspective. I thought no-one would want to see our squirrels, chipmunks etc.
Bears eh?? Since I live right by the mountains, I drive into them often. I see bears all the time, plus moose, big horn sheep and deer. It's funny to see all the tourists, out of thier cars taking pictures of the animals. I can see why they do that, but they get soo close. And if an animal hurts a person, they kill that animal. And they get soo close to deer, after all they look like bambi, but deer kill more people in N. America than any other animal. Go figure.
Oh yeah, we also have bunnies everywhere. At night I see large herds of them running down our street. SOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!! :clap: We also feed the Canadian Geese at a pond by our house. Did you know their bite can't hurt you?? I had a few males hiss at me and instead of taking the food from hands, they bit me. Sooo funny. It doesn't hurt one bit. If you clap one hand, using your thumb to 'clap' against your 4 fingers and then 'clap' that onto your other hand, that's what a goose bite feels like. So now, I have the courage to pet them. He he hee he
Okay, so this is my second ramble for the day :P
Heather, I like your rambles.
Melissa... that's what I was looking for. I must admit, I don't really "appreciate" our squirrels. ;)
I've never seen a moose, but I did see a bear, as a child, visiting Yellowstone National Park. I don't think you'd have to chew your arm off to see one, because if you saw one, he'd chew your arm off FOR you. They aren't quite so teddy bearish and cutesy in person. More like... formidable!
Raccoons I could definitely live without. They're terribly cute, but a lumbering, after-midnight menace. They're quite scary to encounter inside your house, which they access (intelligent little turkeys that they are) through the dog door, coming after the petfood.
Almost nobody sees eagles, even those who live near them. They nest high and are very rare.
I do like hamsters. They're very cute, with ginormous fangs. It hurts when they bite, which they do. But they are so funny, waddling around with their cheeks full of... whatever.
What are "giant wetas"?
Our most amazing birds are the Short Tailed Shearwaters..otherwise known as Mutton Birds (they used to pickle them in the old days and apparently they taste a bit like mutton (lamb)). Every April ..they take off from their burrows in the sand dunes along the south coast of Australia and fly non-stop for thousands of kilometres to the Bering Strait areas of Siberia and Alaska.
They return every September to have their chicks and prepare for this amazing migatory flight once again. It's a round trip of around 15,000 kilometres..and only the strongest birds make it.
Don't we live in an amazing world!
therwise known as Mutton Birds (they used to pickle them in the old days and apparently they taste a bit like mutton (lamb))
I'm guessing they're something the same as our mutton birds which live (I think) only on Stewart Islands and the Chathams and which they STILL eat. I'm pretty sure that only Maori are allowed to harvest them but I did see some in the supermarket a few weeks ago - I was shocked!!
What are "giant wetas"?
while we don't have any native cute furry animals we do have lots of native insects and birds. Weta are big insects kind of like a cross between a grasshopper and a cockroach. They are as old as the dinosaurs - something like 190 million years and are pretty much the scariest thing we have (we don't have snakes!!) though they are completely harmless. Giant weta are the second biggest insect in the world and can weigh over 70g which is bigger than a sparrow -thankfully they pretty much only live on outlying islands and we only have the regular kind on the mainland which are much less gruesome and not really seen in the city. I'm not going to post a picture because I know insects gross people out but if you want to see some pictures of our native wildlife check out this site http://www.kiwi-wildlife.co.nz/gallery.php
You are lucky!! I do believe it about deer though - here we have a lot of deer farming and I grew up in a farming family and learnt to be wary of ANY animal - especially male ones.
We have a lot of introduced animals - including rabbits which pretty much destroyed New Zealand at one point. There are a lot of wild thar and deer and things and at one stage there were moose here but they are long gone...my favourite picture book character ever was a moose and I have a little collection of soft toy ones (including a divine chocolate moose who smells like hot chocolate!).
enjoy your animals!!\
not Bullwinkle - a moose called morris who had a bear friend called Morris - there are several books about Morris and Boris but the funniest one (and the only one worth having) is Morris has a cold. I had it memorised as a kid. Morris is a particularly dim-witted Moose and Boris has to explain everything to him.
Thanks for the link Melissa :clap
I forgot what a wetter looked like. Gruesome :twisted:
We have to be careful of snakes here in the West. Come spring I dont walk the bush or cliff paths. We have some pretty deadly creatures. I've nearly stepped on a number of baby snakes. The red backs are the spider that grosses me out the most. In summer all outdoor equipment must be handled gingerly while checking for the wee varmits I wear gloves. I'll use a surface spray in the summer but only outdoors. It's the only poison I'll ever use. I don't poison snails because the lizards and birds eat them.
I heard on the news one night that squirrels were attacking people. Is that right? And Hamsters, do you mean to say you have wild ones that run free.? Or are you talking of a pet?
I wont tell you what happens to bunnies in Australia!!!! :twisted: I tell ya , ya would'nt want to be a rabbit over here. In some states its illegal to have a rabbit as a pet. We are'nt allowed frogs here in WA. Weird world :twisted: It's a world gone crazy
Squirrels attacking people!!LOl I have heard of one story like that, but it's pretty rare. They are usually nice animals, and aren't scared of your pets either. Very brave, and they love to taunt my dog and my cat. They know they are faster.
And at least not where I live do we have wild hamsters. Is there even such a thing anymore??
Funny how rabbits are a pest there, although I've heard that lots. Here in Alberta, we are rat free and it's also illegal to have a rat as pet, although in the rest of Canada you can. Small price to pay of a rat free provence.
Melissa, thanks for the link. I can't believe there is a flightless parrot. How cool is that!!
But what about Koalas?? On TV, it seems like they are everywhere, and very easy to see one. Also sad how they are loosing their habitat, but I hate to get into that depressing topic.
No cute furry animals in NZ?? Too bad, although I still want to visit. I hear it's very beautiful there.
Okay, back to work.....
Here on Phillip Island, we used to have a huge colony of koalas. Somehow they ended up with Clamydia and their numbers depleted so much that they have opened a koala sanctuary and repopulated it with disease free koalas. The downside is that you now have to pay to see them. We still have the odd wild koala ut they are becoming a rare site. Just three hours drive from here on another island, the koalas are so overpopulated and healthy that they are talking of culling them. I hate hearing talk like that...surely thay can relocate them.
I really love our Australian wildlife...it is so unique and the animals are all so cute!
Melissa...I heard that you have no snkaes and no spiders in NZ..is that right? I have heard that you have white tailed spiders..but no big hairy ones? If that's true...I'm moving! :lol:
Heres a koala I photographed a few weeks back..just for you Heather.
.I heard that you have no snkaes and no spiders in NZ
No snakes - yipee - Alexis and I went to see the snake bit at the zoo - she didn't like it - I found it fascinating but glad there was glass between us!
but we do have spiders - about 2500 species of them!! including some nasties from Australia too. The biggest hairiest spider I saw was a water spider and it was actually kind of cute. Now I don't ever want to see one of your huntsmen spiders on a trip to Aus
No rats in Alberta?
I love rats. Not water rats, but rat-rats. The only dangerous animal we have in Toronto, apparently (besides homo so-called sapiens) is the Pit Bull. There's a new law requiring that they be muzzled in public.
Squirrels will attack, but only if they're protecting their turf. When I first fostered baby squirrels for the Humane Society, I had to keep them too long for their own good because the shelters were out of room. They were by then mature enough that I could no longer catch them without having them jump at me. I was never bitten--it was more of a threat-and-scare manoeuver. We had to trick them back into their cage--quite an operation.
Brilliant Hayley, You lucky bugga. It's Kangaroo Island they are thinking of culling them b*****ds.In Adelaide the highway goes through a tunnel now so the Koalas have a better chance of survival. How they survive I have know idea. What with all those bush fires every summer.
When I was a child we had a Huntsman spider in the living room. Dad made sure it stayed there in order to eat the insects. I hated it. I was glad our ceilings were really high. We have white tail spiders here in WA. Severe allergic reactions can cause the flesh to die and inhibit healing. They just love living indoors. Especially in bed covers. Where I live you cant keep frogs as pets or catch and keep captive a wild frog. You can though incourage frogs into your garden. I started on a frog and lizard friendly garden last year. Its only young yet. but cant wait until every thing grows. Oh yeah! fox's are treated as vermin over here as well. Pity they dont mark humans as such. Too political I know. Sorry Not Snakes are'nt really the horrid things people make them out to be. They are really quite lovely.
Man, I want to go to Australia sooooooooooooo bad.
Hayley. THanks for the pic. I stared at it for a long time. I've always dreamed of seeing a koala in it's natural habitat. Weird though, indangered in one part, and thriving in another. And how does a Koala get claymidia? I thought that was a human STD. Interesting....... I guess as long as they comtinue to be able to love free, I'm happy. I just don't know what I would do if I went out and saw a koala in the tree. I'd just sit under that tree forever.
Eileen, funny story about squirrels. I guess they can be aggresive. Interesting though, you fostered them, but they didn't become tame. And yes, no rats, or fleas. Just too darn cold for fleas. After all, we did get some snow the other day. YUCKKKK :doh:
Anyone want to foster me so I can go to Australia?? LOL
The Humane Society insists that foster-moms distance themselves from the babies as they mature . . . I could cuddle the dear little squirrelies as much as I wanted while they were tiny, but as soon as they began to realize that I was not , after all, a squirrel, I had to back off, avert my eyes when I went in to feed them, and refuse to handle them. Very hard. This is apparently the only way to prepare them for safe re-introduction to the wild environment.
They've got to be fed from syringes at first, then bottles, then weaned to solids. I thought I'd never wean mine, but once I'd tried everything else I could think of, I gave them bananas--they went wild over these, and started to eat just about any solid food. Once they start going squirrely, which is about the time they start holding their tails over their heads, it's clear that they're growing up.
But (oh, man) I had one awful time letting go of one little creature. She used to sit on one shoulder and chatter into my face. If I turned my head, she perched herself on the other shoulder and started again. What a sweet little beast . . . it was all I could do to give her back, rather than telling the HumSoc she'd died, and keeping her. I still go all teary when I think about her!
Wow Eileen. On one hand I wish I could do that. On the other hand, I can only imagine how hard it would be. Makes sense that you have to distance yourself, so they can be released. My heart beats faster just thinking about having to do that. Very kind of you though.
I never thought it would be hard to wean them. Very interesting!! You really were their mom. Did they stay in cages? Are they very smart?, because I imagine them to be.
Thanks for the story