Musk Lorikeets in Sydney and species diversity

To: "" <>
Subject: Musk Lorikeets in Sydney and species diversity
From: Chris Lloyd <>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:12:49 +0000
I live on the Georges River on the south side of Sydney and have been bird
watching the sandstone headlands along the river for a few decades. Over the
last five years I have coordinated a group volunteers to watch Powerful Owls
along the river leading to extensive observation on any of the 25+
territories from Campbelltown to Tom Ugly's. All this has meant walking the
suburbs and river sides for a couple days of each week. What both my partner
and I have noticed this year is the dramatic increase in the number of Musk
Lorikeets which APPEAR to be present. Not only do their numbers seem
significantly higher but they are coming much lower in the foliage to feed.
In previous years this species could frequently be heard high flying or in
the tops of eucalypts. This year, and on more than one occasion, we have
been able to literally walk up to eye level and about an arms length away
for one or a number of birds. Are we imagining this or are others seeing
Mush Lorikeet numbers increase?

Arguments about species numbers seem to have a long history and I vaguely
recollect Darwin suggesting a number above 30k. Cracraft and others of the
PSC bent came up with similar figures in there endless polemic with Meyer
and BSC crowd and, of course, there are "ultrataxon" sleights of hand.
Having spent a fair bit of life playing with seabirds I have often wondered
about the shearwaters in general and the Wedgetail in particular. I think
these may be the second most common species but in the hand birds from one
part of the Pacific seem different to others. One of the seabirder's party
tricks is calling up birds and I note that what works on the Cap-Bunker
islands is not effective on the NSW south coast. Just sayin'

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