Yellow-eyed Cuckoo Shrikes

Subject: Yellow-eyed Cuckoo Shrikes
From: (John Leonard)
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 15:05:48 +1000 (EST)
In January I was up in the Cairns area and one day was walking on lower Mt
Lewis road. During the course of the afternoon I saw several Yellow-eyed
Cuckoo-Shrikes feeding in tall, emergent trees. Then I saw two birds which
were definitely Yellow-eyed Cuckoo Shrikes (right size, right jizz, right
behaviour, yellow-eyes &c), except that they were uniformly dark grey,
without any barring underneath.

At the time I explained then to myself as melanistic birds, remembering that
Coracina is a genus given to melanism. I thought it rather odd that there
should be two aberrant individuals together, but explained it to myself as
perhaps two siblings from a melanistic brood.

However, today I was browsing in Beehler's Birds of New Guinea and saw that
New Guinean Yellow-eyed Cuckoo Shrikes are sexually dimorphic: the males are
all grey, the females barred.

So were these birds I saw perhaps New Guinean birds, are there any records
of that sub-species being seen in Australia?


Dr John Leonard
PO Box 243, Woden,

" Old pond,
  a frog.  "  Basho


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