Gang-gangs in Hughes and a comment on the "significant"

To: "Suzanne Edgar" <>, "John Leonard" <>, "Canberra Birds" <>
Subject: Gang-gangs in Hughes and a comment on the "significant"
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 12:11:38 +1100
The abundance of Gang-gang Cockatoos in Canberra typically increases through the months January to April. Also for that matter exactly the same comment applies to the Spotted Pardalotes (as clearly shown for both in the GBS Report).  I would say then that your observations are a reflection of the typical, in that the birds are starting to return. So that is fine. This leads me to comment on the article by "A. Stentoreus" in CBN 30(4):166-168. That article seemed to be suggesting that for some observation to be "significant", it needed to be very unusual. I disagree. I would suggest that it is the things that are typical, that are the "significant" things in biology. The rare things don't matter much. That is why for example the GBS Report was designed as a summary of the typical trends of our bird populations. It was important to give prominence to the usual trends of common species. It is not - as are many Annual Bird Reports of other places - a listing of rarities. Rare species contribute little to the ecology. Some of that type of document do not mention the common species and so in years to come, people may think those common species did not occur there.
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