Timing and methods
The best time to monitor a hollow, in general, is during the two hours before and after sunrise and sunset. You can still monitor hollows in the early morning and at dusk and whilst you are likely to still see birds, you may not see possums, or other nocturnal animals. Wildlife activity associated with a hollow is likely to vary seasonally, with increased observations during the nesting season. If nesting is observed it is essential that our observations do not disturb the wildlife. It is of interest to observe if the nesting attempt is successful and your fortnightly observations should be sufficient to observe this. For example, in the example of a bird, you will hear chicks chirping, you will likely observe the parents returning to feed their young, and observe the young hanging around the hollow as they learn to fly. As well as a keen eye, a keen ear can help you identify what wildlife may be around. If you often hear an owl hooting in a tree, but don’t see it in your early morning observations, you may need to undertake a pre-dawn/post-sunset monitoring session, or even an observation session at night. Likewise, if you often hear possums around, you may choose to do the same.