Spirit bird in Rabbit-proof Fence

To: (Andrew Taylor)
Subject: Spirit bird in Rabbit-proof Fence
From: "Paul McDonald" <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 16:34:56 +1100
Hi Andrew and others,

I haven't seen the film, but the black kites down at Werribee in 
southern Victoria (where there are a lot of Whistlers) commonly 
give a call that sounds very much like the later species. 

Strange that for such a common bird the calls have yet to be 
worked out.

Happy birding,

On 6 Jan 2003, at 15:01, Andrew Taylor wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 05, 2003 at 09:58:56PM +1100, Annabel Ashworth/Hoskins
> wrote: >    Just a quick comment on the bird call of the black kite in
> >    Rabbit-Proof Fence. > >    I recently saw a lot of black kites on
> a trip up north, and was >    surprised to hear one give a call that
> was virtually the same as a >    whistling kite.   Maybe the calll in
> the film really did come from a >    black kite?
> Its a bit of mystery.  I believe I've heard a Black Kite make a call
> very similar to the most common  Whistling Kite call, at Mataranka (in
> the NT) HANZAB has a sonogram of a Black Kite call from Jabiru which
> also appears very similar.  But when this was last discussed I
> discovered some people with significant experience in areas with Black
> Kites haven't heard this call.
> In two subsequent trips to the NT I've  hoped to hear the call again
> but haven't or at least haven't been able to acertain that its a Black
> Kite making the call.  I was starting to wonder if I and the HANZAB
> sound recordist had been mistaken.  Other posssibilities are that only
> Kites in some parts of the NT make the call or (as was suggested to
> me) maybe its associated with breeding.
> Another puzzling aspect is that the species aren't closely related. 
> Is it mimicry rather than coicidence - which would be interesting in a
> raptor.
> Andrew Taylor
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Paul McDonald
School of Botany and Zoology  
Australian National University
Canberra, A.C.T.
Australia 0200
Fax: +61 02 6125 5573
Mbl: 0410 679 022
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