When is a Magpie Black or White-backed?

To: birdingaus mailing list <>
Subject: When is a Magpie Black or White-backed?
From: "cgregory123 ." <>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2017 02:10:43 +0000
Received yesterday The Australian Bird Guide. Pre-ordered from CSIRO. Only
3 weeks after the local bookshop had it in and we live in inner Sydney. So
I'm a bit late to the book review party

Anyway to get used to how the guide worked I looked up a very common local
bird. Well one I could see out the window - Australian magpie and
immediately got very confused. The guide says there are 8 ssp but only
mentions one in the text - the western form dorsalis. The images have a
random selection of 4 of them but no mention of distribution (except
terrareginae which I assume is Queensland).

Back with the text the authors decide to lump the unnamed ssp into 3
groups, namely black-backed, white-backed and western. The text for the
white-backed reads "(3 ssp) occurring e and s of Great Divide from se Qld
through Vic to Eyre Pen" and the distribution map reflects this.

Surely this is wrong. Here in Sydney I thought we had the nominate race
tibicen which I know from my own travels and observations seems most
definitely black-backed and is distributed down the east coast from
Queensland to just north of Eden where white backed takes over.

The Guide  however seems pretty convinced that white-backed now covers the
east coast from Vic to Qld. So am I missing something in all the lumping
and splitting and have I just got to accept that white is now the new black?

Chris Gregory
<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • When is a Magpie Black or White-backed?, cgregory123 . <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU