Re: birding-aus Birding-aus Re : Call of Baillons Crake

To: <>, "David Stewart" <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Birding-aus Re : Call of Baillons Crake
From: "Michael Todd" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 19:03:57 +1100

Hello David and other Bird-ausers,

I'm glad to be back on the list again as I missed the huge number of
bird-aus emails in my inbox while I've been isolated up here on Cape York.

Anyway, In response to the crake question, I think that the call of the
Baillon's Crake (going by the Aust. Field Guide to Birdsong) and the
Spotless Crake (which I have heard) are pretty similar and would be hard to
distinguish by most people- including myself. Last summer, a number of
species of crakes were seen at the Shortland Wetlands Centre as some of the
ponds dried out. In early December 1997 I remember hearing a crake call
regularly that I initially assumed was a Baillon's Crake as this was a
species that I had seen there whilst at that stage I wasn't seeing Spotless
Crakes. However, within about a week I realised my mistake as I started
seeing Spotless Crakes which soon turned out to be breeding there. I think
that it would be very possible to mistake calls of the Spotless Crake for
the Baillon's Crake, however, as crakes are so very understudied here in
Australia (particularly when compared to New Zealand) could it be possible
to also mistake calls of the Baillon's Crake for the Spotless Crake?

Unless of course as Pat O'Malley points out the Spotless Crake turns out be
nothing more than a juvenile Dusky Moorhen then everything changes!

Where I am at the moment I'm afraid I don't have any Spotless or Baillon's
Crakes but I do have White-browed Crakes which serenade me while I am
waiting for Star and Crimson Finches to fly into my mist nets. Serenade is
probably a bad choice of word as the sound that a of a pair of White-browed
Crakes makes reminds me more of a horde of squeaky toys being squashed!


Mick the birdman (that's what they call me here at Pormpuraaw!)

Michael Todd
Finch Researcher,
Dept.of Environment and Heritage,
Pormpuraaw, Qld, Australia, 4871

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