At 09:51 4/05/98 +1000, Andy Burton wrote:
Three questions for the local birdos:
>1) What is the historical status of these species on the north shore,
>especially within the municipality of Willoughby ?
>2) How widespread are these species in the Sydney region at present ?
>3) What tree species are they feeding in ?
I grew up in Gordon, about 5k ? n. of Willougby in the 1960's and 1970's.
In the mid 1970's Scaly breasteds visited our yard in pairs, along with the
more social, flocking Rainbow Lorikeets. There were only about 3 or 4
pairs of Scalies and tens of Rainbows. The Scalies may have been seasonal
visitors, I wouldn't know. Both species were very tame, but especially the
Scalies. Despite being smaller the Scalies seemed to be higher on the
pecking order and a pair would defend food from half a dozen Rainbows. I
recall Scalies landing on the lunch table in the yard to feed on ice cream,
beer, bread, sugar, honey, Rhondalechia (? spelling) blossom and hibiscus.
They would often land on our heads and shoulders as we walked out the door.
My mother developed the habit of feeding both species large quantities of
water-soaked bread but nothing else.
By the early eighties Scalies had stopped visiting my parents yard
regularly, but still came a few times a year, and I saw them flying round
the neighbourhood ocasionally. By now Rainbows were visiting the yard in
hundreds. I think that my parents have not seen Scalies in the yard in the
nineties. I also think that, at best, they have become rare in the
neigbourhood, but they could well have disappeared for all I know.
It could be argued that the Scalies in our yard declined from malnutrition.
It may be that their tameness led to an unfortunate demise. It is possible
that a population explosion of Rainbows in Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s
meant that pairs of Scalies could not defend their resources (blossom,
feeders, and hollows) from their flocking congener.
I have never seen a Musk nor a Little in Gordon.
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