Received. I was obviously appreciating, not
being critical, of Chris, so I don't think he needed defending. Also each of
your 1, 2 or 3 options is fine with me, especially as I don't have any better
The phenomenon is equally interesting whether
the RH is mimicking Red or Little Wattlebirds. It is the context that is
fascinating and unique and this is not the first RH that apparently mimics both
Wattlebird species (or indeed both Friarbird species, but not across genera). I
suspect they can't tell the difference. Previous records involving mimicry of
Little Wattlebirds have been near Adelaide and southern Victoria. I am not
familiar with Newstead, Vic. so wasn't offering an opinion as to whether the
Little Wattlebird is there. Actually if they are not, this example might add
something new, to the effect that the RH may actually be capable of remembering
some of the models' calls.
-----Original Message-----Philip A.
Lawrie Conole <>
Philip A. Veerman <>
Chris Tzaros <>;
birding aus <>
Wednesday, 11 June 2003 14:27
Subject: Re: [BIRDING-AUS]
Regent Honeyeater at Newstead, Vic.
Actually Chris, you mention "(well
documented and summarised in HANZAB)", as the person who first
described this phenomenon, I was disappointed that although HANZAB does
mention it in passing, it does barely mention the significance and
uniqueness of this behaviour (as acknowledged by various international
experts on bird vocalisations such as Peter Slater of University of St
Andrews, Clive Catchpole, David Dobkin and Peter McGregor). Mimicry of
Little Wattlebird by the Regent Honeyeater is standard in those
In defence of Mr
Tzaros, I think the reason he commented on the Little Wattlebird mimimcry in
particular also occurred to me as interesting. Little Wattlebirds
don't occur within the current main range of the Regent Honeyeater in
Victoria (mostly north-east Victoria, with odd forays into central and
southern parts of the state).
It occurred to me that this
particular Regent Honeyeater might be:
Either way, in Newstead it is well and
truly lost - though in former Regent Honeyeater haunts ... and there are no
Little Wattlebirds in those parts.
- an old bird that has spent time down in Melbourne in the past
(where Little Wattlebirds DO occur, and can be locally abundant),
- a bird which spends/spent time within Little Wattlebird range in
BTW, I haven't seen/heard this
Newstead bird, but found the topic of interest.
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