Re: An exotic? (Sunbird)

To: Andy Burton <>
Subject: Re: An exotic? (Sunbird)
From: Lloyd Nielsen <>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 12:54:17 +1000

Rather a bit late with this reply.......

Sunbird -

The habits and colour you describe do not fit a Sunbird. They are quite obvious and never skittish, spend alot of time in open areas mostly lower down and don't usually spend time in foliage/dense cover. They often perch high in a tree on a conspicuous perch and are often found about buildings and human habitation. Colour of upperparts is darkish olive-brown or with a tinge of yellowish rather than soft/plain brown. The Pizzey & Knight field guide is fairly spot on (old edition - new is too dark). Slater's (new) and Simpson & Day are too pale. Morcombe is far too pale and jizz is completely wrong. Further, it would be a long way out of range but strange things do happen in the bird world. It is more common in coastal lowlands rather than a bird of high altitudes.

I would agree with Mike and your intitial reaction - an immature Eastern Spinebill - perhaps with some aberrant tendency ??

Hope that helps

Lloyd Nielsen,
PO Box 55,
Mt Molloy Qld 4871
Ph: 61 7 4094 1549
Fax: 61 7 4094 1372

Andy Burton wrote:

While in the town of Glen Innes, on the northern Tablelands, at an altitude of about 1050 metres, we found a mystery bird.

Claire Stevenson has suggested that the mystery bird of Glen Innes may be a  

I reckon you were right first time. It was an immature Eastern Spinebill. The 
illustration in Pizzey and Knight matches your description.

Mike Carter

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