birding-aus Growling rails and rail-watchers

To: "KEITH BRANDWOOD" <>, "bird oz" <>
Subject: birding-aus Growling rails and rail-watchers
From: "Michael Todd" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 15:08:33 +1100

Hello Keith and Edwin,

My point was that both calls are basically similar and would be easy to
mistake for one another by either accident or by those not experienced in
identifying crake calls (which would include many birdwatchers). I don't
mean to suggest that you fall into that category. Unless you were exposed to
one or other of the calls on a regular basis I would think that it would be
very easy to mistake one for the other. I personally have never heard
Baillon's Crake call other than on the Field Guide, as I suggested, so my
personal experience follows what David Stewart was asking. I might also
point out that I know of at least one eminent ornithologist who maintains
that he has never heard it call in Australia. However, I'm not being
dogmatic about it- they may well call as you have suggested- its just that I
haven't been in the right place at the right time.

However, I think that it is great that you know both of the calls well. If
you saw Baillon's Crake giving its call (as David Stewart was asking) then
it is fairly definitive.

On Lewin's Rail, I spent a rather disjunct year attempting to study them in
the Newcastle area with little success unfortunately. This was partly due to
not enough effort being put into it (other commitments) and ineffective
capture techniques. I think that they are fascinating birds though and would
heartily encourage anyone interested in these very little known birds. I
would love to know what each of the Lewin's Rail calls means. I think that
the 'tok-tok-tok...."call is probably territorial, and I would guess that
the growling call is some sort of contact call, but does anyone have any
ideas on what the galloping horse call signifies?



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

-----Original Message-----
To: bird oz <>
Date: Friday, 5 February 1999 5:24
Subject: birding-aus ballions crake calls

>micheal todd /bird aus
>                               re call difference between ballions
>spotless crakes there is a huge difference Ive heard both
>of them on many occassions if you dont have the set of
>audio tapes put out by BOCA a field guide to australian bird
>        song suggest you get them
>cassette No3 includes all the crakes
>                                                        kbrandwood
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