Mystery Bird - photo

To: "'Birding-Aus'" <>
Subject: Mystery Bird - photo
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2021 18:34:15 +1100

I notice that the message (Tuesday) from [Birding-Aus] “Hybrid Golden/Rufous Whistler?” has been given a different subject (which I admit confused me at first). Given that whatever it is, it has colour deficiencies (so that does not favour either) and what is there are basic features pretty much shared by both, I think the idea of a hybrid is at least a reasonable suggestion. Genetic testing (if that happened to be available) would settle that question. Hybrid appearances can be all sorts of things and we only know what is likely if there is a previous history of them. Call might have instinctive and learned components. The back appears quite grey, which would seem a little odd for a bird that has only lost its yellow.




From: Birding-Aus [ On Behalf Of Andrew Ross via Birding-Aus
Sent: Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 12:49 PM
To: Allan Richardson
Cc: Tony Russell;
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Mystery Bird - photo


Thanks Allan. I can assure you there’s nothing wrong with the image. I have about 20+ of them which are consistent and from two different t directions, a video and two observers, with the bird seen on two consecutive days in different light conditions. There was no yellow on this bird. The colours on the image are true to the colours on the bird. And my video includes it’s call, which is not that of a Golden.

I agree it otherwise looks like a Golden.


Andrew Ross | Partner | KordaMentha Forensic


T +61 2 8257 3051

M +61 414 368 235

Level 5, Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

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From: Allan Richardson <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 12:36:11 PM
To: Andrew Ross <>
Cc: Tony Russell <>; <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Mystery Bird - photo


It’s a Male Golden Whistler - the colour of the image is just off. There’s only two possible birds to choose from in the Blue Mountains that approach a hooded appearance and this bird is not a Rufous Whistler.


Happy birding



On 13 Jan 2021, at 11:44 am, Andrew Ross via Birding-Aus <> wrote:


Yes, but Rufous doesn’t have a black cap.


Andrew Ross | Partner | KordaMentha Forensic

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M +61 414 368 235
Level 5, Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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From: Tony Russell <> 
Sent: Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:42 AM
To: Andrew Ross <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Mystery Bird - photo


Well the rufous call is very different to the Golden so given the inland location I'd now say Rufous minus rufous pigmentation, What's the word for 'lacking rufous':?.

Coastal whistlers have quite different calls.


On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 at 10:35, Andrew Ross <> wrote:

Blackheath is in the Blue Mountains, 110km west of Sydney. Elevation around 1000m.


Yes, call heard clearly (and have it on video). To my ear it is carbon copy of Rufous Whistler.


Andrew Ross

From: Tony Russell <> 
Sent: Wednesday, 13 January 2021 10:51 AM
To: Andrew Ross <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Mystery Bird - photo


No idea where Blackheath is ( I know the London one). Looks like a Golden minus yellow. Don't suppose you heard it call at all?


On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 at 07:12, Andrew Ross via Birding-Aus <> wrote:


Here’s a snap (only slightly more than 200kb) of the bird seen at Blackheath 


Andrew Ross

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