To: Jeff Davies <>, 'Martin Cake' <>, 'Graeme Chapman' <>
Subject: Scrubwrens
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2018 20:53:23 +0000
well said Jeff, I couldn't agree with more...

it's been very interesting to just sit back and watch this worthy discussion 

and 2 very quick questions from me here now for my Number 1 Hero, Mr Graeme 

Graeme, I've always wondered this... when you yourself worked out that we had 
the Little Raven as a good species, as opposed to the thinking at the time all 
those many decades ago, did you study VERY carefully your many images taken of 
the other corvids, as well as those that you proved to be different (hence the 
Little Raven), to help you to reach your conclusion that we had a 'new' species 
of corvid that had been hitherto over looked all those years ago?

I reckon your answer would be a resounding YES!!

it's amazing what we can work out when we use careful field observation, along 
with birds' behaviour, structure, iris colour, eggs, and other morphology, as 
well as some good old clear thinking, to reach some good scientific 

and we know that DNA wasn't used back then, don't we Graeme??


martin cachard

(a different Martin)

trinity beach, cairns, FNQ

From: Birding-Aus <> on behalf of Jeff 
Davies <>
Sent: Wednesday, 9 May 2018 2:14 PM
To: 'Martin Cake'; 'Graeme Chapman'
Subject: Scrubwrens

Looking at those blogs Martin,

You are picking out the odd bird on those particular blogs with plain eyes
when the majority on the same blogs show buff eyes.
My money is on those odd individuals being subadult or subordinated adult or
whatever, a bit like what happens with Corvids, start out dark, become
pale(even blueish) imms, before eventually becoming breeding adult.
Before you ask, I haven't any research to back this up.
But if the majority of def adult  East coast Scrubwrens are showing buff
eyes and you have a handful that don't fit, you don't ignore the majority
view, you look for an explanation as to why the occasional bird doesn't fit.
That Mornington Peninsula bird in particular looks good for an immature.

Looking at the Spotted types, same deal, go through all the photos you can
find and then tally up what the majority appearance is for the adults,
rather than picking out the odd variant.
And the see if the add variants can be accounted for as imms, non-breeding
adults or whatever.

It's the appearance of the overwhelming majority of adults that count in
this comparison.

Cheers Jeff.

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Martin Cake
Sent: Wednesday, 9 May 2018 12:08 PM
To: Graeme Chapman <>
Subject: Scrubwrens

G'day Graeme

Yes interesting puzzle isn¹t it.
I guess we can¹t say whether DNA will have the last word, until it has the
last word!

As for some images of live White-broweds that don't fit the pattern, here¹s
a few examples found from a quick search:

A bird with grey-green eyes at Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula

Some weakly-spotted birds with pale grey-green eyes at Cleland Wildlife
Park, in the Mt Lofty ranges

A non-spotted bird with a pale grey eye near Gluepot

A male with a grey-green eye near Minghorn Gap NSW

A neutral grey eye from Narrabeen NSW

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

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

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

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