Subject: terminology
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:47:42 +1100

I think Harvey is right

The 'rare' refers to the ACT, so a vagrant may be rare in the ACT or common elsewhere. Vagrant refers to the behaviour of the bird.

I define vagrant as similar to nomadic. Birds that move around irregularly but don't have cycling movement. Common vagrants in the ACT may be silver gull, corellas, pelicans, less common vagrants may be blue billed ducks, Australian spotted crake, Baillons crakes. 'Vagrant' is not a great term because once a species starts breeding in the ACT it tends to swap into the 'resident' category.


The scale of rarity appears to be logistic scale. If it isn't then Marks argument could equally apply to 'common'. For example, common birds may be galahs which I see hundreds of everyday, and may also be rufous whistler that I may see once a week if I don't go walking much. Then you should break it up into super common, very very common, very common, etc. The same goes for 'rare' in the ACT, I see yellow tufted honeyeaters maybe once every 2 years whereas I have never seen a black honeyeater. If it is a logistic scale this makes sense because rare would encompass any bird seen less than eg ten times a year.

In any case you could argue for decades but the classification is just to give a rough idea of how often you may come across each species. Nevetherless I think it would be useful to review the classification and if updated, should also take into account current terminology in legislation eg in ACT legislation and EPBC act.

Benj Whitworth


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