Re: Garden Birds

To: Peter Woodall <>
Subject: Re: Garden Birds
From: Michael Hines <>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 07:59:05 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Taking Peter and Glen out of the garden (without Maude?), how many seed
eating spp. are there native to Harare cf. Australia? How many gardens
in finch country in Australia cf. Harare?       Mike       On Tue, 18 Nov
1997, Peter Woodall wrote:

> At 01:29 18/11/97 +1100, you wrote:
> >Dear Peter,
> >> Why does Harare have many native seed-eaters coming into the gardens,
> >> while very few of the Australian finches do?
> >
> >What was the answer to your question?
> >
> >Glen
> Glen, 
> Its good to see you [and your wit] back on the birding-aus lists!
> I can pose many more questions than answers and I don't know
> of a good answer to this one. I'll copy this to the wider community
> and perhaps the cyber-fundis [=experts] can give some explanation.
>   I don't believe that marsupials
> are biologically inferior to placentals, yet the fact is that both
> Australian native mammals and birds have not done well in competition
> with introduced species.
> Why? 
> Is it to do with the isolation of Australia, but how would this work?
> A suggestion that Australian animals are less adaptable is difficult to
> believe because there have been great climatic changes, producing great
> changes in habitat here, and in Africa. 
> Fire-induced changes - any more or less here than in Africa??
> Is it to do with the far greater range of mammalian predators in Africa
> (native cats, foxes, weasels, mongooses, etc) which has meant that the
> African seed-eaters (and rodents, etc) have evolved with these predators 
> and therefore are better able to withstand the predation of suburban
> cats?  It is perhaps significant that there are very few
> feral animals in Africa which sustain themselves sucessfully.
> Is it to do with a longer human farming presence in Africa?  The birds 
> there have had longer to adapt to a more permanent type of human 
> settlement than in Australia.
> Any more ideas or suggestions would be welcome.
> [The facts behind this are;
> Garden Birds survey of Harare (Honeyguide 43:4-14, 1997) and Garden Birds of
> Queensland [mainly Brisbane] (Sunbird 25:1-17, 1995)
> Similar mean nos. per garden 40 for Qld, 29-35 for Harare, 
> Qld: four introduced in the top 50: House Sparrow 8th, Spotted Turtle-dove, 
> Common Starling, Common Myna.  6 native seedeaters in the top 50 species.
> Harare: One introduced in the top 50, House Sparrow 29th, 
> 15 native seedeaters in the top 50 species.
> (ranking in terms of frequency of observation, seedeaters incude doves, 
> parrots
> and finches/waxbills}
> Pete
> Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
> Division of Pathobiology              
> School of Veterinary Science            Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
> The University of Queensland                    Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
> Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072          WWW  =
> "hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)

        Mike Hines
        42,Pangeza Street, 
        Stafford Heights, 
        Queensland, 4053,
        Australia.             Phone 07 33594998.

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