Anthony Mitchell, John Peter and Gordon McCarthy published a substantial
account of the birds of the Ironbark Basin in the Geelong Bird Report for
1995. (THe Geelong Field Nats can sell you a copy for $5). At that time
they knew of no records of the Forest Raven for the Ironbark Basin.
In the 1997 GBR , Anthony published his first record for the Basin, 2 on 2
April 1997.I have never seen one there but I have seen a couple in Norton's
Road Bellbrae which is not so far away.
So I think you saw a Forest Raven. It should go in the Geelong Bird Report.
(Did you see anything else special?)
Forest Ravens are fairly common and reliable westwards from about the
Distillery Creek area behind Airey's Inlet, but they occur further east, eg
Bald Hills behind Anglesea.
I prefer to identify it by hearing its really deep voice - it has some
almost growly noises. The bill is really heavy and the tail is relatively
shorter than the other ravens. (It is also bigger than the Little Raven but
as I am a very poor judge of size unless I see them both together I don't
go by this.)
As the local Atlas person, I would be grateful if people would be very
careful when identifying ravens in the general area of the Otways. I
believe Australian Ravens to be extremely uncommon here, and fear that they
are being reported when Atlassers see a Raven they think is bigger than a
Little Raven. I discussed this with Pauline Reilly the other day; she lives
in the area (at Fairhaven) and says she does not get any Aussie Ravens; we
think many records of Aussie Ravens (including mine) in the first Atlas
were probably wrong and hope to avoid this error this time round.
The Aussie Raven is the only one with that long high-pitched descending
wail but the Forest Raven does sometimes have a descending call, however it
is much much deeper.
At 11:08 AM 10/11/99 +1000, Glen WHITE wrote:
>Can anyone please help me sort out Forest Ravens from the others?
>Yesterday at Ironbark Basin Reserve, near Anglsea, Vic I saw and heard a
>group of Little Ravens. I also saw another raven who gave only one short
>call (which I couldn't interpret). It appeared to have a much stouter (and
>possibly shorter) bill than Littles. Might this have been a Forest?
>Any help gratefully welcomed.
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