Gould's Bronze Cuckoo

To: <>, <>
Subject: Gould's Bronze Cuckoo
From: "Steve Potter" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2009 14:28:32 +1030
Hi Lloyd,

Thanks for your contribution on birding-Aus re the Gould's bronze Cuckoo,

I have attempt without success to find much info on the two "little"
I am interested in your findings around your comment "Each are fairly easily
identified in the field. In some areas, they occur side by side, in very
different habitats," 
What are these identifying features and what are their preferred habitat's? 

Particularly as my brother and I saw briefly a "little" that we assumed to
be Gould's at Cape Tribulation last week. 


Steve Potter
m: 0407 398 234
The new Slater guide
from [Lloyd Nielsen
<> ]
[Permanent Link
&> ][Original
ding-aus&m=2009-10&> ]       
Subject:        The new Slater guide    
From:   Lloyd Nielsen < >    
Date:   Wed, 07 Oct 2009 13:04:09 +1000 

It is interesting that Peter has treated Lesser Sooty Owl and Paperbark
Flycatcher as distinct species. Both are very distinct in the field. With
Lesser Sooty Owl, the reason I heard/read that Sooty and Lesser Sooty were
lumped was because DNA was identical. However, there are apparently other
closely related Australian species which also have identical DNA which have
been retained as good species. 

A lumping which I find irksome is that of Gould's and Little Bronze-Cuckoo.
Each are fairly easily identified in the field. In some areas, they occur
side by side, in very different habitats, using different species of
Gerygone as host parents. The so-called hybrid between the two northern taxa
seems to occur only within the habitat of Gould's (I have never seen it
within the drier habitat of Little) - the possibility that it is an 'age
stage' of Gould's has never been considered. I have been told that DNA work
has been done on these birds and is waiting to be written up. I believe that
the three taxa are considered to be at the first stage of speciation. It
will be interesting to see what the final conclusion will be. 

I am not knocking the taxonomists but I would think a little consultation
with some of us who spend a lot of time in the field would probably help the
situation. There are a few other examples here in north Queensland which
badly need attention. 

I have not seen the new guide as yet - has Rusty-tailed Gerygone been
retained? Interesting that there have been a few sightings by different
people of a gerygone from mangroves up and down the Qld coast in the last 8
years or so with a complete red-brown upper surface to the tail despite the
original specimens being shown by Schodde (Emu 85:49) to be examples of
Yellow-bellied Gerygones (New Guinea etc) faded by preservative spirit. 

Lloyd Nielsen
Mt Molloy, Nth Qld

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