Little Ravens, PAGE 3: Trip Highlights

Subject: Little Ravens, PAGE 3: Trip Highlights
From: Judith Lukin-Amundsen <>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 14:00:12 +1000
Thank you, Paul Walbridge, and to Alan Morris for the lucid account of Little Raven and Forest Raven ranges.

Because I am most familiar with the Torresian Crow, and then the Australian Raven, I was very interested while in Tenterfield to see that the town's pamphlet, 'Guide to Tenterfield Birdwatching' lists the Little Raven as their only corvid, to be seen at the rubbish tip (and at the Anglican church in town). According to my field guides, the Little Raven was certainly possible, but the Torresian Crow should be in the area too, though it had not been listed in the pamphlet. Given the type of country in which the town sits, the Relict Forest Raven did not occur to me at all as likely for this dryly rural upland environment.

Since the church seemed a rather confined designation, I decided to take a trip out to the tip. This installation was closed when I arrived; however, I could hear the cries of corvids over the hill, so I followed the sounds till I saw, in a nearby paddock, the birds themselves.

Two trees were chiefly involved. In one, a group of smaller-looking birds sat, largely silent, some of them nestled in pairs. When these birds did move around, it was to peck at and riffle through the bark and twigs, apparently looking for insects (- I saw this behaviour in similar birds later, up closer, in the town, and those birds seemed certainly to be finding food on the branches). The other tree in the paddock, by contrast, seemed to be more a base from which somewhat bulkier birds flew out, calling and crying with a sound very similar to the Torresian crows of SEQ, and wheeled over the paddock, back and forth across the hill face. A couple of times I saw these birds land - and there was a definite wing-shuffle.

When I later saw the lighter birds again in the town, they were involved in a quarrel with a pair of galahs. I cannot imagine galahs engaging the QLD Torresian Crows in that way.

All of this led me to deduce that the 'Guide to Tenterfield Birdwatching' pamphlet might be incorrect in citing only one corvid for their town's area, i.e. it seemed to me that the Little Raven, though listed for the area, was not the sole species present.

Anyone located near Tenterfield might care to go and take a look...?


S-E Qld
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