I was interested to find out possibilities, and what people thought.
It wasn't intended as a joke. From the way Dave spoke, it seems that one
species does usually lead in the part of England where he lives. The
leader of the group obviously accepted it as a serious question, and gave
us a species for the area we were in in Sri Lanka. He obviously listened
for the calls of that species to lead the group to a particular section of
Unfortunately there is no punch line!
On 15 March 2016 at 15:53, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
> A curious question not because it might not happen but because there are so
> many possibilities. Where I am in Canberra this is well known as a big
> feature of the bird behaviour of the cool months. Typically thornbills,
> whistlers, fantails, silvereyes, I don't know how you would pick a leader
> species, as they sort of move as a mass. Is the leader consistent? Is it
> based on the species or on individuals. As in do all the members of one
> species move then all the members of another species. I doubt it.
> For a start I wonder whether this "Obviously it happens in Britain that one
> species must lead." is intended as a joke that this be obvious and what is
> the punch line.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus On Behalf
> Sonja Ross
> Sent: Monday, 14 March 2016 7:18 PM
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Mixed feeding groups
> I've just been on a birding trip to Sri Lanka (and thoroughly recommend
> it). Four of the group were British, and one asked our leader about the
> bird species leading feeding parties i.e. which species did this? Obviously
> it happens in Britain that one species must lead. When I was out today, I
> came across a couple of mixed groups and wondered, does any species lead
> such groups in Australia, and are they different in different areas, such
> as honeyeaters in Vic, but Figbirds in Qld.?
> I'd be interested to hear what others think as I hadn't thought about it
> before Dave asked!
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