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I am pleased to report that, contrary to my earlier fears, the kookaburras have not scarfed  all of the fish.   There are at least eight remaining in the pond.  It could even be more, but I have definitely got eight (out of fifteen to start with).  I know this because a friend has been helping me do some work on the pond, and all of our splashing and plopping stirred them up.  I think that it’s interesting that they weren’t afraid of us, despite the commotion we raised.  It was as if our noisy presence was reassuring to them.  Protection from the marauding kookaburras.  It’s hard to believe their wee speck of a brain could work out that they were safe while we were there, but they seemed happy to be out swimming around again.  At least now they have lots of hidey holes amongst the rocks we put in the pond.  Now I wonder if there are more than eight still there…  I’ll keep you posted.

I have concluded that I have two roosters.  This is how I know.   It’s all about the feathers.  Here’s the evidence:
Hen Feathers:

Definitey a hen

Hen feathers up close

Now we come to the rooster feathers.  I’m sure you will agree that this is definitive.  Roosters (at least Australorp roosters) have long, thin, pointy feathers near the tail that drape rather handsomely over the wing:

Close view of rooster feathers

The feathers drape attractively over the wing

Here is a close view of my two roosters, both with drapey feathers

This is Ella. Note the drapey feathers.  And s/he crows.  Definitely a rooster.

So I think the mystery is solved at last.  I haven’t decided whether to adjust Ella’s name, given that s/he is clearly a rooster.  Albeit a chubby rooster with drapey feathers and a droopy tail, but a rooster nonetheless.  Perhaps I should change the name from Ella to Elton.         MM