REGENT HONEYEATER at Cooleman Ridge NR. Very significant.

To: "Tobias Hayashi" <>, <>
Subject: REGENT HONEYEATER at Cooleman Ridge NR. Very significant.
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 17:53:29 +1000
Hi Tobias,
Excellent observation. It has been at least 2 or 3 years since the last reported incidence of this very special behaviour. It would be really great to get additional video film of this association and mimicry behaviour. It was me who discovered and first described this mimicry behaviour (as published below). There is a video of my speech to the BA scientific day on honeyeaters of 1994, in the BA and the BOCA library, with some film of the behaviour. I have a copy too. Most field guides now mention it. I was at the BOCA office one day researching in their library and Ken Simpson was updating his field guide and asked me if I had any inputs to his book and he typed it straight into the text. HANZAB mentions it, although sadly, probably due to space limitations, the unique nature of a bird using Batesian acoustic mimicry wasn't directly expressed. The uniqueness of the behaviour has been recognised by overseas experts on bird communication. But we need more good quality film of it to get it onto the next edition of Attenborough's life of birds (or something else like that).
Veerman, P.A. (1992) ?Vocal mimicry of larger honeyeaters by the Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia?, Australian Bird Watcher 14: 180?189. (A discovery and description of an apparently unique behaviour.)
Veerman, P.A. (1994) ?Batesian acoustic mimicry by the Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia?, Australian Bird Watcher 15: 250?259. (Further evidence, literature review and analysis of why this birds? mimicry is unique.)
I was about the current age of Tobias when I saw my first Regent Honeyeater (3 September 1974) and believed its call was almost identical to Red Wattlebirds. It took many years before the full story began to unravel. So keep at it Tobias, you'll make your own important discoveries. Thanks Geoffrey for the mention also.

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