couple of questions
"Tony Lawson" <>
Tue, 26 Jul 2011 13:19:30 +1000
A friend recently posed these questions. Does anyone have a good answer?
Both were questions asked yesterday at a course I'm teaching, and I can't
satisfactorily answer either.
1. Why are NZ birds generally less brightly coloured than east coast
A couple of possible responses occur to me:
a. It's a false premise - there are too few terrestrial native NZ species
to make a valid comparison.
b. NZ species tend to be dense forest dwellers, where colour is less
relevant in communication than in the open forests and woodlands of
eastern Australia. But since I haven't even set foot in our nearest
Gondwanan neighbour I'm not even sure if my starting point is correct.
In any case I don't find either response very satisfactory.
2. What is it about WA that 'fades' birds?! eg Yellow-tailed to White-tailed
Black-cockies; Eastern Yellow to Western Yellow and White-breasted Robins.
It's such a small sample size that I'm forced to concede that it's
probably coincidence, but that doesn't satisfy me either.
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