FW: Scrubwrens

To: <>
Subject: FW: Scrubwrens
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2018 10:48:49 +1000
Some might have missed part of the puzzle.  The below message from Dick
Schodde was copied to list but I think only went to personal addressees.


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, 1 May 2018 10:06 PM
To: Geoff Shannon; Graeme Chapman; Mike Carter
Cc: ; Stephen Ambrose; Geoffrey Dabb
Subject: Scrubwrens


I have been reading the exchange of emails on scrub-wren eye colour, and
think that Stephen Ambrose's hypotheses have value. I have also just spoken
with Graeme Chapmen on the phone.

So I'll share with you all recorded iris colours on scrubwrens in the ANWC
from relevant areas:

Mt Lofty Range.  Adult-plumaged males (n=7): cream (3), mid cream (2),
cream-buff, cream-ivory. Adult-plumaged females (n=5): cream (2), mid cream,
cream-buff, yellow. No juveniles.

Kangaroo Island. Adult-plumaged males (n=5): pale yellow, pale straw, straw,
pale grey-brown (probably subadult), pale cream-grey. Adult plumaged females
(n=4): pale grey (2), pale grey-brown (probably subadult), pale buff. No

Wet forested southwest corner of WA. Adult-plumaged males (n=7): cream (2),
creamy-white, creamy-grey, greyish cream, pale greyish cream, mid brown
(probably subadult). Adult-plumaged females (n=2): pale cream-grey (2). 
Juveniles,(by plumage (n=4): creamy-white, dirty cream, mid cream, mid
creamy grey.

Shark Bay/Houtman Abrolohos: Adult-plumaged males (n=3): off-white
(Abrolhos, 1), light green (Shark Bay, 2). Adult -plumaged females (n=5): 
off-white (Abrolhos, 4), light green (Shark Bay).

Now there is subjectivity of colour interpretation by different collectors
here and probable bias from dulling (darkening?) of irides between time of
collection and its recording on the specimen bench in the field. Nonetheless
it also shows that the issue is complex and that a more extensive
photographic record is needed before we can be certain of regional
differentiation in iris colour. Those photographs that are available I
accept as accurate. I also think it likely that the descriptor "grey" in
irides quoted above refer to the "blue" irides Graeme has been talking
about. These, from their photographs, I would interpret as pale bluish white
or pale blue-gray white, the same colour as the peri-orbital skin of Cacatua
triton (galerita superspecies) in New Guinea.



-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Stephen Ambrose
Sent: Thursday, 3 May 2018 10:28 AM
To: 'Ross Macfarlane (TPG)'; 
Subject: Scrubwrens

I think this discussion has demonstrated the value of everybody's
contributions. Each contribution (observation/record/anecdote) is a piece of
the jigsaw puzzle and there have been lots of people helping to assemble it.
It's great that Birding-aus is the table in which the jigsaw puzzle is being
assembled.  A triumph for the internet, birdwatchers, photographers, citizen
scientists, professional scientists, and (of course) the birds in question.

Long may those contributions and Birding-aus continue.


Stephen Ambrose
Ryde NSW

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Ross Macfarlane (TPG)
Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 2:03 PM
Subject: Scrubwrens

Agreed. An absolutely fascinating discussion on the minutiae of evolution in
a single genus of one of our favourite LBJs...

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus <> On Behalf Of Alan
Sent: Wednesday, 2 May 2018 9:44 AM
Subject: Scrubwrens

Hear Hear.
Thanks everybody.

On 2/05/2018 9:22 AM, Lawrie Conole wrote:
> the conversation has been illuminating and conducted with goodwill and 
> civility

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