MV Blog

DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: forest gallery (9)

Feathering their nests

by Kate C
Publish date
27 January 2011
Comments (5)

Bernard in Public Programs didn't just receive a gory makeover for his stint as a security guard in the Science and Life commercial; he also needed a haircut to tame his unruly locks.

  Bernard's haircut Going, going, gone... Bernard's wild curls are trimmed off.
Source: Susan Bamford Caleo

But don't worry, the trimmings were put to good use... as nesting material for the finches and wrens in Melbourne Museum's Forest Gallery. In the wild, these birds salvage tufts of animal hair to line their nests and provide a soft bed for their chicks. During the birds' breeding season, Live Exhibits collect all sorts of materials that will make good nesting matter. This includes coconut fibres, fleece from sheep and horse hair to name a few. Staff stockpile material in spring and disperse them out in small amounts throughout spring and summer.

  Bag of hair Trimmings from Bernard's haircut.
Source: Museum Victoria

Rowena from Live Exhibits had the strange task of scattering the hair around the Forest Gallery early one morning. When I told her it was Bernard's, she said, "I don't know if it's better or worse, knowing who it belonged to!"

Rowena in Forest Gallery Rowena scattering the hair in the Forest Gallery for birds to use.
Source: Museum Victoria

Cleaning the creek

by Colin
Publish date
14 January 2011
Comments (3)

If you have wandered into the Forest Gallery in the new year, you may have noticed that the creek looks much clearer. Just before Christmas 2010, Live Exhibits staff got together to clean ten years' worth of silt and sludge that had built up since the opening of the gallery. It was a tough and dirty job, but the end result was well worth it when the clean water was turned back on.

First we had to drain the creek.......

Forest Gallery creek being drained. The Forest Gallery creek drained of its water.
Source: Museum Victoria we could remove all the rocks.....

Removing the creek rocks Removing the creek rocks.
Source: Museum Victoria

...and scoop out all the stinky mud!

Scooping out mud Scooping out ten years' worth of mud from the creek's base.
Source: Museum Victoria

With all of the rocks washed and returned...

Clean rocks in creek bed Squeaky-clean rocks back in position
Source: Museum Victoria

...we could fire up the pump...

Forest Gallery pump The pump that circulates water through the Forest Gallery
Source: Museum Victoria

...and let the water flow. C'est fini!

Clean Forest Gallery creek. Sparkling, crystal-clear Forest Gallery creek.
Source: Museum Victoria


Forest Secrets

We’re back - for the sun and food!

by Natasha
Publish date
17 November 2010
Comments (0)

Tash is another bug-crazy animal keeper. She is passionate about arachnids including scorpions and primitive spiders (tarantulas and funnelwebs in particular).

They look like dinosaurs I hear you say?

Come and meet our Cunningham Skinks Egernia cunninghami who have moved into the rocky high rise estate in the reptile enclosure in the Forest Gallery! These Cunningham skinks were born here at Melbourne Museum and their ages range from 2-8 years. They are sun-loving and enjoy posing for the camera. They are not picky eaters and their diet consists of specialty reptile pellets, fruit, vegetables and any insects they come across.

Cunninham Skink feeding frenzy. Three Cunningham Skinks come out and enjoy their vegies.
Image: Natasha Shadie
Source: Museum Victoria

Cunningham Skinks are distributed widely over eastern and central Victoria, excluding central and southern Gippsland. They are live bearing and can produce between 2-8 young in late summer. They like to hang out in rocky crevices where their backward facing spiky scales make it difficult for predators to pull them out.

This is a perfect time to come and see thm sunbaking and playing with their food. 

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.