Obelix fitted with numberplates
Willem le Roux, shepherd and citizen scientist, with one of the chicks
The first young birds tagged with these tags were named Romeo and Juliet and the second pair Asterix and Obelix (the one chick being considerably smaller than the other when tagged). In a follow up visit to the nest two weeks after the tagging, Asterix had made up good ground and weighed a mere 100g lighter than Obelix. At first their weights differed more than a kilogram. Up to now the birds were still in the nests where they were fed by the parents, but the first of the chicks are starting to leave the nest now. They will roam the area around the nesting site for the next few months returning at night to roost in the nest. And after that they leave the nesting area ...
Without the kind cooperation of farmers allowing researchers on their farms to monitor nests, do tagging and visits to follow up on the progress of the chicks this kind of research is not possible. We are grateful for their enormous contribution to the scientific knowledgebase in the quest to understand birdlife better and to ensure that future generations will have the benefit of seeing this stately princes and princesses of the veld in their natural habitat.