Re: Taxonomic splitting and bird song

Subject: Re: Taxonomic splitting and bird song
From: John Penhallurick <>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 10:26:53 +1000
Syd Curtis is quite correct to say that bird song alone should not be the
basis for splitting.  And he is right to say that you need to look at the
facts of each case.  His example of Lyrebirds is one such, and would
probably apply to all mimics.  Another factor is whether or not your are
dealing with clinal variation in song.  I believe that a Grey Shrike-thrush
from one end of its range sounds quite different from birds at the other
end.  But birds from nearby in the range will respond to neighbouring songs.

Despite this, response to song is a good prima facie guide to conspecificity
or otherwise.  And it's often the quickest thing you can detect.  If you get
no response, then you need to start studying other evidence. 

John Penhallurick
Associate Professor John M. Penhallurick<>
Canberra, Australia
Phone BH( 61 2) 6201 2346   AH (61 2) 62585428
FAX (61 2) 6258 0426
Snail Mail  Faculty of Communication
                University of Canberra,A.C.T.2601, AUSTRALIA 
OR            PO Box 3469, BMDC, BELCONNEN, ACT 2617, AUSTRALIA

                "I'd rather be birding!" 
                "Vivat,crescat,floreat Ornithologia" 

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU