Dollar Birds - help please

To: BobNoreen <>, Birding- Aus <>
Subject: Dollar Birds - help please
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 11:31:41 +1000

You've been well answered already on this Bob, but you might as well have this too:

John Gould, in his Handbook to the Birds of Australia, published in 1865, gives it as Eurystomus Australis, with the common name of Australian Roller, and he writes, "During flight the silvery-white spot in the centre of each wing shows very distinctly, and hence the name of Dollar Bird bestowed upon it by the colonists."

Now I have a question.  In Leach's An Australian Bird Book (8th edition, 1945, revised by Charles Barrett), the relevant entry commences like this:

Eastern Broad-billed Roller, Dollar-bird, Eurystomus orientalis,  Ind., Bur.-Amurl.-Phil.,  Bor., Java-N.A.-V,. S.A.,* T.,* Lord Howe I.,* N.Z.*   Mig. r. timber

Can anyone enlighten me as to the significance of those asterisks?  

I failed to find any explanation in the book's preliminary notes.  My guess is that it implies there have been occasional records only.   I note that Falla, Sibson and Turbot, Birds of New Zealand, (1996 reprint) say that  Broad-billed Rollers  E. pacificus, (other names, Australian Roller, Dollar-bird) have been recorded "16 times in New Zealand since 1881, 5 since 1950".

There is no entry for Eurystomus or for Dollar-bird in the index of Ian Hutton's Birds of Lord Howe Island, so I assume Leach was referring to some occasional sighting of a single bird there too.


From: "BobNoreen" <>
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 10:35:00 +1100
To: "Birding- Aus" <>
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Dollar Birds - help please

I'm wondering if any of you can help me please.

When did the Broad-billed Roller (presumably its original name?) become the Dollarbird? and does anyone know who/how it was renamed?

I assume the change to metric currency influenced the name change and would be interested in hearing any background on this

Many thanks

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU