migrating honey eaters

To: birds birds <>
Subject: migrating honey eaters
From: Elizabeth Compston <>
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 09:55:24 +1100

I am interested in the map that Geoffrey has recently provided of the migration routes of the yellow faced honey eaters in Autumn. I have felt for some time that the birds we have been seeing flocking down the Murrumbidgee in Autumn, have come from further afield than the Brindabella Mountains. In 2003, the year of the fires in the Brindabellas thousands of yfhes flew along the Murrumbidgee corridor, also in 2004. I am not sure about 2005, but in 2006 and 2007, there were far fewer birds; which to me could indicate that many birds had perished in the fires in Victoria. However, it could also just indicate that they were flying along different routes. I would like comments from Nickie Taws and others about this

As to whether the yfhes appeared in Canberra earlier than usual, I doubt this. In 2002, 2003, and 2004 I asked people to report sighting of yfhes in Canberra. I have kept these records. On March 6th, 2003, Bob Rusk wrote "Over the past couple of weeks, it is obvious that the yfhe migration has begun". There are so many variables involved in the start of the migration. And are sightings of the birds, flying through Canberra in small numbers, an indication of start of migration anyway?

Now that the early autumn has given way to summer again, what effect will this have on the birds? Not so many sightings since the weather warmed up? What day was that? Keep observations coming in


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