Saturday, 15 July 2017

Update 15th July 2017 and a Baby Possum Alert

If you are new to this site, a Baby Possum Alert is when:
There is a brief period of time (maybe a few weeks) when a baby possum is not yet old enough to back-ride during the night, but is old enough to come out of the pouch during the day. This is the most interesting time to watch the box cameras, because the baby has been asleep in the pouch all night, and therefore is full of energy during the day and up to all sorts of mischief in the nestbox.

At most, you might get to see this a couple of times a year, so now is the time to watch.
Sasha's latest baby is now at this stage.

Sasha's baby climbing over her in Box 4 - 15th July 2017

You can see an overview of the box cameras at Possum TV Live; click any box to get streaming
video of that box.

With previous babies, Sasha would sleep in Box 7 most nights, which was quite convenient for viewing purposes. This time, however, she seems to be moving around between different sleeping places. She has recently been seen in boxes 2, 3 and 4, and often is not in any of the boxes. I'm not sure the reason for this.

At one stage Sasha brought some gum-leaves into Box 4. I still haven't worked out the reason possums do this; they generally only bring in a relatively small quantity of leaves, and it's difficult to see how it makes any difference as far as comfort or insulation goes. One thing that might be a clue is that Box 4 is quite some distance from any gumtrees, so it seems that Sasha deliberately selected this type of leaf in preference to those growing directly outside of the box. Could it be that the eucalyptus oil in the gum-leaves is keeping down insect pests inside the box?

Babies are also occasionally seen playing with the leaves, however often possums raise babies without bringing in any leaves, so this can't be the primary reason for doing it.

Sasha bringing gum-leaves into Box 4 - 28th June 2017

On a couple of occasions the baby has made a nuisance of himself (I think the baby is male) clinging to Sasha's face:

Baby clinging to Sasha's face in Box 4 - 30th June 2017

Here is a recent photo of Sasha. The baby sensibly remains inside her warm pouch during the night.

Sasha - 13th July 2017

Marlowe has been seen around, but still hasn't come any closer to the humans. Farley, Raffi, Wasabi and Niva have not been seen.

Koji, however, is visiting regularly and Zoë is seen occasionally. At one stage Koji picked up some pluckings, possibly inflicted by Zoë. For some reason, when the fur grew back in a plucking on his back, it was initially a dark black colour, however this faded to more normal colour over time and there wasn't any evidence that anything was wrong. Koji is currently in very good health.

Koji - 11th July 2017

The brush turkeys Gatsby, Merlin and Byron are all still around. In previous years, chicks like Merlin and Byron who had hatched in the area would have left some time ago, so I don't know what is different now.

Gatsby is continuing to maintain his mound, despite the fact that it's the middle of winter.

Gatsby on his mound - 14th July 2017

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