Little Grassbird calls

To: <>
Subject: Little Grassbird calls
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 09:13:39 +1100

Couple of points on the call.  It can sound faint when coming from say 50m or more when it seems to float faintly on the wind.  It can seem loud from about 10m, almost startling.  If the bird is very close, say 2-3m it can sound tentative and confiding, as if trying to start a conversation.  At that time the pee-peeer-pee can be just an enquiring ‘pee-peer’.


The elements in the original pic, as so often, were governed by the lighting. The excessive light probably washed out the streaks.  I would think they’d be evident through binoculars.  If you want to ID a bird on the spot, use binoculars.  A camera viewfinder is a very poor substitute.  Some effects of light below, adult in shade on left, juvs in sunlight on right.  I might mention the processing effect again.  ( eg colour enhancement turns some female honeyeaters into males.)   If Lindell had really cropped and darkened the pic it might have helped the ID although it mightn’t have been much from an aesthetic viewpoint.  




From: Barbara Jones [
Sent: Tuesday, 21 December 2010 8:24 AM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Little Grassbird calls


John asks: different calls – different geographical area?


I hear the call of the Little Grassbirds on the Far South Coast as the same pitch as a distant reversing heavy vehicle/machinery ‘beep’, although softer and thinner. Comments?


Barbara Jones




Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 6:16 PM


Subject: [canberrabirds] Little Grassbird vs Clamorous Reed-Warbler


Lidell’s photo generated much debate/argument at our place, finally everyone settled for a juvenile Little Grassbird, but were surprised to read. “Its sound is a very weak whistle.” In our experience it’s quite the opposite and more often heard than seen. However this reminds me that I’ve sometimes thought the same species will give different calls depending on the geographical area. Anyone?

And I thought Clamorous Reed-Warbler was now Australian Reed-Warbler, or have the taxonomists changed it?

John Layton


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