Corvid identification and other birding notes

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Subject: Corvid identification and other birding notes
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 16:46:33 +1000
Hello all,

This morning (7/5/2002) I made a mercy dash to my brother's and sister-in-law's
recently acquired piece of Ocean View land (north of Brisbane, South East
Queensland, Australia) to help revive their ride-on mower which had, the day
before, decided to adopt a horizontal pose in lieu of the more normal vertical
Ocean View still bears more than a passing resemblance to what often is called
natural environment in as much as there is still a fair degree of 'nature'
surviving the onslaught of the developers.
Thus the operation on the mower was hampered to a degree by the distraction
caused by the multitude of birds in and around the property.
Bird highlights of the morning included:
Rose Robin m&f
Golden Whistler m
Grey Fantails in plague proportions
Red-backed Fairy-wren
Lewin's Honeyeaters everywhere
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos (about 5)

Unfortunately the Bush-hen that my sister-in-law had previously seen did not
show but this morning's display means that I will be visiting that part of the
world more often in the future.

One thing intrigued me though.
Naturally the corvid calls were constant and numerous but none caused me to
think there was anything other than Torresian Crow in the area.
However, one corvid I observed flying over at a considerable altitude was not
doing the classical Torresian Crow 'missing a wing beat' as it called in flight.

Perhaps the corvid experts could comment on this so-called identification
At least 3 of the current Australian field guides along with "Crows and Jays",
Steve Madge and Hilary Burn (Helm), cite this feature as an identification point
for Torresian Crow.
Although records of Australian Raven for this area were accepted for the first
"Atlas of Australian Birds" there seems to have been very few such records since
that volume was published in 1984.
So, is this a genuine identification feature for Torresian Crow or is it another
example of bird 'folklore'?

Bob Inglis
Woody Point

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