Rawnsley's bowerbird - Lamington NP; aka "Blue Regent - Eungella?

To: dan and wendy <>
Subject: Rawnsley's bowerbird - Lamington NP; aka "Blue Regent - Eungella?
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 21:45:00 +1000

Thanks Dan, for your report.

Alec Chisholm was a respected ornithologist, historian, author, and editor, - of an earlier period. He was  Editor in Chief for the  Aus. Encyclopaedia prepared during the 1950s,  and he was the author of the Bowerbird entry in the Encyclopaedia.

In dealing with the Satin bb Chisholm wrote:

In 1867 a surveyor-naturalist, H. C. Rawnsley, shot near Brisbane a bird possessing the rich blue-black plumage of the satin bower-bird with the addition of gold on the wings.  This was accepted by S. Diggles as a new species and named Ptilonorhynchus  rawnsleyi, Rawnsley's bower-bird.  Later, since no other such specimen was discovered, it was dismissed as a hybrid between the satin and regent bower-birds; but even today there is a vague belief that the bird was, in fact, "the last of a vanished race".

I recall that some time later Chisholm had an article published in some popular Australian magazine about a bird he called the Blue Regent bowerbird.  It had been recorded from Eungella N. P. (high country inland from Mackay, Q.) and he was seeking advice of any further sightings.  He didn't get any.

Dan Blunt's report seems to put the matter to rest.   With Lamington N. P., (which includes Binna Burra), being such a popular birding place, there is surely no chance of an "almost vanished race" existing unnoticed in that area;  it must indeed be a hybrid.

Dan, may I suggest that it would be a useful contribution to Australian ornithology, if you were to lodge a brief report and photograph, with the Queensland Museum, the Australian Museum, and Birds Australia.

Syd Curtis in Brisbane

From: "dan and wendy" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 07:39:03 +1000
To: <>
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] rawnsley's bowerbird - Lamington NP

For those interested,

Last week I observed and photographed what was previously described as Rawnsley's Bowerbird. It was described in 1867 as a species but was later found to be a hybrid of the Regent and Satin Bowerbird. As far as I can tell from ringing around, it is an extremely rare hybrid of which litle is known. The bird has the gold primary and secondary feathers of a regent bb, as well as it's bill and an iris of bright blue (unlike that of a satin). The rest of the bird is like a satin bowerbird male. The bird was seen in Timbarra Drive, the last estate, about 2km from Binna Burra. Unfortunately I don't have a web site to post it to but am happy to put it on one for everyone to look at.

Cheers..Dan Blunt

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