Birds as predators

To: Philip Veerman <>, "" <>
Subject: Birds as predators
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2018 20:56:11 +0000
hi Philip,

it is good to hear from you, and I hope that u are well...

yes, of course we do not KNOW yet that this was a case of predation for food 
for the Logrunners involved.

maybe the word VERY was a tad strong, but I like to poke and prod and nicely 
provoke a bit on here to get us all to have a good THINK about things, and to 
encourage birders to observe more carefully than many actually do.

that was my motivation.

however, I do FEEL that this case could VERY well be one of predation, and as u 
have just written, it may be happening out there and no-one has seen it before, 
or they have, but haven't reported it yet. who knows...

a good example:
I'm in the midst of starting to write up a massive amount of un-funded 
part-time field research of my very own on Black-winged Monarch. It is a 
project that began over 12 years ago for me, and much of it is of previously 
"undescribed" information and will contain a few things new to science.
but because I haven't actually finished it and had it published as yet, then 
only a handful of other people actually KNOW of my findings.

and that's just one subject.

there are lots of papers in me to come, but it all comes back to my available 
TIME to get all my obs/theories etc... on other Oz birds written up.

and that's just ME...
there must be many other serious Oz birders out there just like me with lots of 
pending papers in their heads &/or in notebooks that they haven't written up 

it all comes back to finding the TIME to get stuff done...

and go Barney!!

have a great day Philip...
cheers for now,

martin cachard

solar whisper wildlife cruises
daintree river

& trinity beach, cairns

From: Philip Veerman <>
Sent: Sunday, 7 January 2018 10:09 AM
To: 'martin cachard'
Subject: Birds as predators

Hi Martin,

Was good of Barney to report it and I reckon he should write it up properly.
I have given him some suggestions. Although I reckon "very plausible" is
stretching things a lot. We don't know what was actually happening here. The
case for predation is far from shown. It is not so odd for a bird to damage
the nest of another bird. HANZAB notes that Logrunners are often in
association with Yellow-throated Scrubwrens but nothing like this. It
records Logrunner's food only as invertebrate and obtained by scratching and
digging on the ground. No mention of feeding on anything as big as small
skinks and frogs. Though that could just be because no one had observed or
reported it.


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
martin cachard
Sent: Saturday, 6 January, 2018 10:33 PM
To: Penny Brockman; 
Subject: Birds as predators

I agree with you Penny - I think it is very plausible...


martin cachard

solar whisper wildlifew cruises,

daintree river.

& trinity beach, cairns.

From: Birding-Aus <> on behalf of Penny
Brockman <>
Sent: Thursday, 4 January 2018 9:53 AM
Subject: Birds as predators

It seems very plausible to me that Logrunners would take and eat a
scrubwren nestling; the noise the nestlings were making would very
likely have excited them. They are after all insectivores and no doubt
eat small skinks and frogs when available.

On 3/01/2018 10:51 AM, Philip Veerman wrote:
> Hi Graeme,
> Yes Whipbirds and others, the list appears to be increasing......
> There may however not be predation involved in this odd case of the
> Logrunners. It is, it seems, so out of character. It could have been just
> intent to remove the noisy competitor or disrupt the nesting. I don't
> Just a suggestion and Barney's observation does not indicate anything more
> than that. I wonder would Logrunners be capable of eating an at least half
> grown nestling of a bird not much smaller than themself? Hard to imagine.
> The attack reminds me of years ago when I had Star Finches breeding in an
> aviary. I made the mistake of thinking I could put a pair of Crimson
> in with them, even though Crimson Finches are known to be aggressive. I
> bad for pair of the Crimson Finch being stuck in a 1 metre long cage even
> though the male Crimson Finch would sing all the time and was the only
> I ever had who would sit on my hand. The female Crimson Finch first
> she was less aggressive than the male. The male would immediately chase
> around the cage whenever I removed the barrier. Within about five minutes
> being put in the aviary, the female Crimson Finch found the Star Finch's
> nest and charged inside it and dragged the Star Finch out of the nest who
> then escaped her hold and the female Crimson Finch chased her around the
> aviary till I decided that was a bad experiment and I caught the Crimson
> Finch who went back into the segregated cage.
> Philip
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf
> Graeme Chapman
> Sent: Wednesday, 3 January, 2018 9:12 AM
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Birds as predators
> Following on the interesting observation of Logrunners, I'm sure there are
> quite a few species not regarded as predators that welcome a bit of extra
> protein when available.
> A friend of mine regularly monitors the nests of Superb Fairy-wrens on his
> property.
> He has had to resort to building cages of chicken-wire around the nests to
> protect them from the predations of Eastern Whipbirds.

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