Gday Trish - good question. I think it will
bring a helpful graph from Martin and a summary on local occurrence from
Philip. It is one of several species where any reference to movement
brings forth dissenting comments about exceptions - or has a loose
generalisation been put forward as a rule?
First, HANZAB - a dump of published information up
to cutoff date, in this case roughly 1999 - says of ‘Movements’:
‘apparently complex and incompletely known’. Also: ‘[Reported]
movements poorly understood, and few clear patterns emerge’.
In Canberra, two well-known factors are often at work, sometimes
together, and probably are here: (1) movement out of the ranges (a
stronghold of this species) in Autumn and back in Spring, and (2) movement
between suburban gardens and woodlands according to breeding patterns and food
supply. The COG atlas says they are ‘forced out the ACT to their
winter quarters’, but also that ‘many overwinter in suburban
gardens and low-altitude woodland below 700m’. (I have a complaint
about ‘overwinter’, if it suggests birds seen are permanent
residents; they might be movers from elsewhere.)
In any case the short answer to your question is that the species
can be found here year-round, although in smaller number numbers and less
conspicuous in Winter. One can only assume that people who report a ‘return’
live in areas where – unlike yours and mine – they are not present
in Winter. You will find this happens quite a lot with various species.
I don’t feel up to doing blackbirds. It might depend
on the pie season. That reminds me to add a point about skylarks.
Recent experience confirms my view that in general they tolerate a much less
close approach than pipits. I wonder if this is a legacy of years of
being hunted for ‘Larks’-tongue Pie’ in their ancestral
From: Trish Munro
Sent: Sunday, 16 August 2009 12:08 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] RE: Red Wattle-birds
As a new COG member and with this being my first time I have written on
the chat-line, I am bravely asking a question!
RE: Red wattle-birds
I think I read earlier this week on the chat-line, that red wattlebirds are
back but I have had red wattlebird(s) around my
house throughout winter.
Is this unusual?
Also, blackbirds depart for winter and return when Spring arrives,
When are they likley to return? I love their sound.
Enjoying the chat-line and learning lots,
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 10:30:50 +1000
Subject: Eastern spinebill
2 Eastern Spinebills in the plum blossom this am in my garden - Kaleen.
Not seen them here before. Also 2 Red Wattlebirds chasing each other around.
Here View photos of singles in your area