Museum Victoria Blogs

Articles for the Museum's daily blog

written by Craig Robertson

Note: As at early 2018 the museum blog site has been taken down and my blogs have disappeared. I have cancelled the relevant links on this page and republished the Long-tailed Cuckoo and Sturt's Pigeon items in their full versions. These were the items I wrote:

[Old preamble] For several years now I have had the privilege of working as a volunteer with Museum Victoria's wonderful birds, mammals and herpetology collections, and the staff that care for them. Recently I have had the pleasure of writing a few blogs for the Museum's website. The pleasure is in large part because I am able to write about the collections, more specifically about particular items amongst them that bring forth stories of interest.

Long-tailed Cuckoo mounts Long-tailed Cuckoo: Pathfinding in Paradise: The Long-tailed Cuckoo is the greatest of the migratory land birds in the South Pacific, travelling thousands of kilometres across the open ocean to its spring breeding gounds in New Zealand. Is it possible the Maoris originally found Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud, by following them? A remarkable Australian, Harold Gatty, thought so, putting his views in two books: The Raft Book and Nature is Your Guide. (October, 2011)
Sturt's Pigeon - illustration in his book Sturt's Pigeon: The 150th anniversary of the day Alfred Howitt reached the dig tree and, within a few days, had found and buried the remains of Burke and Wills. One of his party, Edwin Welch, who found John King alive, noted in his journal what good eating were the numerous Sturt's pigeons they found in the area. Why didn't the ill-fated explorers exploit them too? (September, 2011)
Favaloro Cabinet Strehlow's Egg: A Red-tailed Black Cockatoo's egg in one of the most beautiful egg collections brings with it the story of Pastor Carl Strehlow of the Hermannsburg mission in Central Australia, and his tragic death. (August, 2011)
Stick-nest rat On rats: The spectacular floods in outback Australia in 2011 have had some interesting results amongst the rodents who live there. (June, 2011)
Naughty Cocky Naughty Cocky: A hard-swearing Long-billed Corella, a species of cockatoo, comes from the birdskins collections complete with a letter of introduction. (June, 2011)
Burke's gravesite, Cooper Creek Burke & Wills Sesquicentenary: The 150th anniversary of the day the explorers returned to the dig tree to find their base camp party had left only hours before, and their fate was closing in fast. (April, 2011)

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Updated: 9 September, 2020

Text © Copyright Craig Robertson, 2011-2020, except where otherwise attributed.

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