Helmeted Friarbird races in NT

To: <>, birding-aus threads <>, david james <>
Subject: Helmeted Friarbird races in NT
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 19:14:14 +1100
Hi Russ & others The sandstone bird (ammitophila) is fairly easy to see atop of 
Gunlom in Kakdu NP & I also had them in nearby Koolpin Gorge. I didn't see them 
at Nourlangie Rock to the north, but did see some at nearny Gubara. So I guess 
you could say that it is fairly widespread on the escarpment areas. The 
coastal/mangrove bird (gordoni) I found to be quite common around Darwin at a 
great deal of sites. However, I wouldn't say that this bird is anywhere near as 
common as the Hornbill Friarbird (yorki) is around Cairns where I live. I have 
a question though - why is it that the NE Qld bird yorki has been split as a 
full species, especially from the coastal NT gordoni? I am no taxonomist, but I 
would have thought that the escarpment frequenting ammitophila was more 
distinct when compared to both gordoni & the newly split yorki, which at least 
structurally to my eye, appear more closely related to one another... Any 
thoughts anyone ...?? Cheers Martin Cachard,Cairns, 0428 782
 > From: 
> To: ; 
> Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 12:37:18 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Helmeted Friarbird races in NT
> David & birding-ausers,
>                                     Wanting to be absolutely clear about 
> what races of  Helmeted Friarbird are believed to occur in the NT under the 
> IOC classification.
>                            Am I right in thinking that Philemon buceroides 
> gordoni ( Matthew's Melville Island friarbird) is the more widespread across 
> the coastal Top End, and that P.b. ammitophila (? Sandstone Friarbird?) is 
> confined to sandstone escarpments? Are they the only two races in the NT? Am 
> I right in believing that the nominate race P. buceroides buceroides does 
> not appear on the Australian mainland.
>       Would be interested in peoples' views as to the relative abundance of 
> these two races in the NT. A thorough search of my records for two visits to 
> the Territory shows I've missed Helmeted Friarbird both times (along with 
> White-lined H/E, but at least I was actively looking for that and knew I 
> didn't have it!!)
>            Don't you just hate it when you've missed an airchair tick.
> Russ Lamb, Maleny, SEQ

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