Bass Straight migrants and poisonous Aussie birds - birdng myths?

To: Sonja Ross <>, Birding Aus <>,
Subject: Bass Straight migrants and poisonous Aussie birds - birdng myths?
From: Steve Clark <>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2012 09:48:40 +1000
G'day Sonja and Anthea

Thanks for your replies.

I'm aware of the Gastrolobium poison bush in WA.  Anthea has turned up
this reference

which is good evidence that the pigeons accumulate poison from the
seeds of Gastrolobium bilobum in Western Australia.

Further questions:

Has anyone ever extracted poison from a Bronzewing and analysed it?
What is the situation in other parts of the Bronzewings' range?
Why are Pitohuis claimed to be the first known poisonous birds?  This
article mentions others (including Bronzewings):

It seems that others were known or suspected earlier but the chemical
in Pitohui poison was the first to be identified.

There appears to be no conclusive evidence that Flame Robins migrate
across Bass Strait unless Anthea can track down the unpublished
research of Balmford and Dennett.  I wouldn't be at all suprised if
they do cross the Strait but it would be nice to have evidence.


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