"Black" White-winged Fairy Wren

Subject: "Black" White-winged Fairy Wren
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2000 17:06:15 +0800

Tony Russell wrote of the various reports of black or very dark blue fairy
wrens, and compared these sightings to the current sightings of
Comb-crested Jacana and Painted Honeyeaters in South Australia.  I don't
consider this a very good comparison.  The thought of a fairy-wren
migrating or moving 100s or 1000s of kilometres is much harder to believe.
I would think that the reported fairy-wrens are largely resident and very
unlikely to be vagrants, and they are the reason why the 'Black-winged
Fairy-wren' is not a full species but rather a sub species or colour morph
of White-winged.

There are many myths in birding.  'Black-winged' Fairy-wren only being on
Dirk Hartog Island is probably one.  Another that I am aware of is the
belief by some that there are large numbers of pale morph Wedge-tailed
Shearwaters off Shark Bay and the Pilbara.  I have heard the latter from
several people, and yet the experts at the WA Museum who have visited the
area extensively know of only a few birds in one or two colonies.  I am
sure that there are many other myths ...

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