Friday, August 16, 2013

Urban Ecosystems (or "It's time to clean the gutters!")

Only a few weeks ago I was cleaning out the roof guttering at my parents' place when I came across a sizeable chunk of bone 4 metres up. I assumed a scavenging bird must have raided someone's rubbish.

Last week I saw this Little raven Corvus mellori on my roof. It had just found this morsel. I don't think it was found in the gutter (it looks like a piece of sausage) but there does appear to be a sustainable ecosystem happening there! It's time to get the ladder out!

I hate that job!

I am reminded of a day I heard the unusual calling of Wood duck close at hand. The drawn out nasal repeated "gnow" is about as unlike "quack" as you could possibly get! Not having any of their favoured habitat close at hand (they like grazing on grassed areas close to water and trees) I wandered out of the house to find a pair on the roof!

Wood duck Chenonetta jubata
Bird on!


  1. take care up on the ladder Pete. An unusual place to gather your birding photos but an opportunity not to be missed

  2. The last photo of the Wood Ducks is beautiful with all that soft focus behind them. You described their call perfectly too - I heard it in my head!

    I made a garden pond last year and have had to fish out more than a few animal bones that the Torresian Crows drop in. Growing the vegetation higher around the edge has deterred them from visiting the pond, as they are naturally wary birds. Could you grow long grass in your gutters? :-)

  3. Well at least it is your roof. I can think of another one a few kms away that might be a bit more precarious to be cleaning! Looks like good habitat up there, I'm sure you could argue you are propagating habitat for the wildlife rather than risk life and limb. Little Raven? How is this different to the Australian Raven. Can we have a side by side post between the two? Different call? You must have been dumbstruck by the ducks. What you find close to (or on) home heh! Great post.

  4. Gorgeous Wood Duck shot, Pete!! There's something about these ducks that is so endearing.

  5. I’m still quite amused with how you interpret the raven-on-the-roof incident as an indicator that your gutters needed cleaning. And I can’t deny it's plausible! Nature has done its part, now it's time for you to do yours. XD Roslyn@Twin Rivers Roofing & Construction

  6. Birds, and other animals alike, leave dirt on your roof and gutter that would get clogged when left as is. It is inevitable to keep these animals from going on to your roof, but you can give an extra effort to check and clean your roof regularly to avoid inconveniences during bad weather. Once a month is ideal for regular roof maintenance. Your photos look great, by the way!

    -Allyson Duguay @ AffordableRoofingFlorida

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  9. Buy the most durable Steel and Aluminum Guttering in Melbourne from Alcoil.

  10. To prevent insects, birds, and other animals to nest in your gutters, regular cleaning is a must. Hearing about how these birds seem like they are already living in your gutter is no good news at all. They can damage your gutter that will extend to your roof, and also your house's siding and foundation. I hope you'll tend to this chore more timely now.
    Joann Winton @ AJCRoofing

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