Sore heads and porky pardalotes

To: "chat line" <>
Subject: Sore heads and porky pardalotes
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 21:43:34 +1100
Hi all,
Spotted Pardalotes featured in after-dinner conversation yesterday evening when Younger Brat arrived home and reported that she saw a pair nesting in a hanging plant basket beneath eaves of a verandah in Gundagai.
Pretty soon the table was strewn with bird books, all open at the appropriate pardalote page or spot, if you like. To our amazement, HANZAB cites, under Other English Names, Headache-bird. Has anyone ever contracted a headache from a Spotted Pardalote? Admittedly, I've long referred to pardalotes and other tiny, continually-moving passerines of the higher, outer foliage as  PINs, i.e. Pain In Necks, because that's what we get after watching them for a while.
Further to our amazement, HANZAB also cites Miss Piggy. We took this as a reference to the inimitable Muppets character, but wondered why. Was there something plainly porcine about pardalotes that we hadn't spotted?
Suddenly, a little light bulb popped on above YB's head and she declared it probably referred to the call of the Spotted Pardalote, and proceeded to whistle Miss PiggyMiss Piggy. A spot-on imitation!
Then I recalled McComas Taylor's description of the call as Paul Keating, Paul Keating. (See Field Guide to the Birds of the ACT 1993). So, YB whistled Miss Piggy, Miss Piggy again, while I did Paul Keating, Paul Keating, and we agreed that even the most pernickety pardalote wouldn't have spotted any difference.
Best of birding during 2005, and may all your headaches be perky little passerines.
The Whistling Laytons.
<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 Canberra Ornithologists Group 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 list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU