bill colour query

Subject: bill colour query
From: "Jo Wieneke" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 97 11:22:39 UT
On our monthly count on the Townsville Common last week the floods had receded 
and we could get into all 4 sites. The summer's Koels, Pied Imperial Pigeons 
and Channel-bills have left and the 'winter' migrants are back. I suspect a 
few Leaden Flycatchers are here all year but they have been joined by Grey 
Fantails and Rufous Whistlers. 

As usual all the female/immature whistlers' bills are horn coloured - slightly 
paler than those of a Little Shrike Thrush - and with a darker tip. I have 
never found any reference to this in any book. The bill colour for Rufous 
Whistlers is always illustrated and given as black or dark brown. They are 
like this at least south to Bowen. Are pale-billed R. Whistlers ever seen in 
NSW and Victoria? Could these be a sub-species? If so where do they go in 
summer? Do they just go pale in the non-breeding season?

Any ideas?

Jo Wieneke
Townsville, Nth Qld

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