|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
For those interested,
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