Thanks. Yes indeed, I thought it had been written up
but what I found was the emails. Obviously I am not as familiar with CBN as I
was when I was editing it. That it was written up on Canberra Bird Notes, 30 (2), June 2005, p. 84 makes it a bit
sad that this was not referred to in CBN 34(2): 136.
It is the same journal and only four years apart! Things are published for a
reason, I hope! Oh well, maybe Barbara's is the first such observation and maybe
Anne's is the second.
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah ACT 2902
02 - 62314041
I think that was my observation you have in mind.
I've kept most of the email exchange re HANZAB from the time. Following is
what appeared in Canberra Bird Notes, 30 (2), June 2005, p. 84.
Unfortunately the Magpie-larks do not visit frequently these days,
and I've had no more interesting sightings.
A pair of Magpie-larks Grallina cyanoleuca
have been resident in our neighbourhood for many years,
rearing a good number of youngsters. We have a pond in which multi-coloured
goldfish successfully breed every summer. The pond has a three metre by half a
metre shallow section over river stones, where the fish, especially the young
ones, spend time feeding. The Magpie-larks paddle through the shallows, finding
insects among the plants edging the pond, small black water snails on the
stones, and sometimes successfully eating the flesh of a ramshorn snail (though
more often we find the safely withdrawn ramshorn on the ground around the pond
safe, that is, if we get it back to the water in
In March 2004 the male Magpie-lark took a young white goldfish
about four centimetres long. I saw him first with the wriggling fish firmly in
his beak (fish tail one side, head the other) as he moved out of the water and
over several metres of paving to where the female and offspring were fossi c k
in g in l e a f l i t t e r . Unfortunately they were just out of clear view and
I could not see what he finally did with the fish. It would have been
interesting to know if indeed he ate it as, so far as I am aware, fish are not
normally part of the diet of Magpielarks.
21 Boobialla Street, O'Connor, ACT
Barbara Preston Research
ABN 18 142 854
21 Boobialla Street
O'Connor ACT 2602
Phone: 61 2 6247
Fax: 61 2 6247 8779
Mobile: 0439 47 8919