I too am reluctant to rule out the 'natural occurrence theory' re Painted
Button-quail in inner urban Melbourne. I have seen a pair at Blackburn Lake
Sanctuary (c. 30 ha reserve, c 15 km east of Melbourne CBD, essentially isolated
from other native vegetation by at least a kilometre or two of residential
suburbia), running around making platelets, etc., just as 'normal wild birds' do
when you see them miles from suburbia. I can also recall reports of them flying
into windows at Clayton (c. 20 km south-east of Melbourne CBD), and Balwyn (c.
10 km east of Melbourne CBD). Added to Rohan's observations, these records beg
the question of the 'aviary escapee theory': where do you draw the line between
likely aviary escapees and likely wild birds as you move from the CBD, through
inner suburbs, outer suburbs, and eventually native bush beyond the suburbs?
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