Spirit bird in Rabbit-proof Fence, again

To: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Subject: Spirit bird in Rabbit-proof Fence, again
From: (Andrew Taylor)
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 23:07:00 +1100
On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 11:05:35PM +1100, Philip A. Veerman wrote:
>    I too have heard Black Kites (in the NT and maybe elsewhere, but only
>    a small number of times) making a call somewhat reminiscent of the
>    Whistling Kite, instead of their usual hoarse (& horse-like) cackle.
>    However even with some structural similarity, no way would you not
>    pick it as different. As for the film, I don't know why some seem to
>    be having difficulty accepting that the visual and the auditory are
>    not the same bird. Film makers do it all the time ...

Yep, Paul Hackett's message establishing what the call was on the film
was interesting and answered the original question.  However recent
e-mail to me privately and to the list has increased my confusion about
Black Kite calls.

A Darwin resident pointed to the Simpson&Day CD-ROM Black & Whistling Kites
tracks as typical of what the call he hears from the two species.

But someone else has told me this Black Kite track (originating from the
BOCA tape) is mislabelled and is actually Whistling Kite!  Interestingly
it was recorded at Yellow Waters in the NT.

I had a quick look at sonagrams.  The BOCA tape "Black Kite" calls look
most similar to the HANZAB Whistling Kite "A" sonagram but I wouldn't
place much weight on this as some of the BOCA tape Whistling Kite calls,
looked quite similar to the HANZAB Black Kite "D" sonagram.

A couple of people have suggested that Whisting Kite calls can be
distinguished from the similar Black Kite call because they are longer.
HANZAB doesn't support this.  The calls in HANZAB's Black Kite "D"
sonagram and Whistling Kite "A" sonagrams are of similar length.

The BOCA tape Whistling Kite calls do tend to be longer than the BOCA tape
"Black Kite" calls but there is some overlap.

I'm told the BOCA CD has a different Black Kite track but I haven't
bought it yet (must do that).

Andrew Taylor
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