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.
Associate Professor John M. Penhallurick<>
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"I'd rather be birding!"