Blue-billed Ducks in ACT

To: <>
Subject: Blue-billed Ducks in ACT
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2012 18:21:21 +1100

Entirely agree.  There seems little doubt there was a release of captive birds at FSP, but dates, numbers, and the reason for fluctuations in numbers over the years remain obscure.  We might never know whether any BBDs at that site were of wild origin.  Of course, we will not lose our BBD tick in the Last Great COG Twitchathon (of 1994?) because our Narrabundah peacock tick was accepted without demur.   


From: Philip Veerman [
Sent: Saturday, 11 February 2012 5:35 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Blue-billed Ducks in ACT


In late September to October last year a story was advocated on canberra-birds that the Blue-billed Ducks present at the Fyshwick Sewage Ponds are there because captive-bred birds had been released there. Debate followed. Chris Davey (11 October 2011) responded to the discussion and promised that "When the dates of release and numbers are confirmed I will ensure that this information is included in the appropriate section of the ABR". I recommend the story should be more properly told in more detail, preferably with its own article in CBN. I suggest that at the least a list or table should be collated of all the local records of the species and locations and years to support or otherwise the story. This can be done from Steve Wilson's book, all the COG ABR, the COG database and no doubt asking for records from the many people who have kept records over the years that do or don't include Blue-billed Ducks, from that site or others nearby. Anyone could do this. I even thought of doing this myself but then I thought clearly. If the idea is supported the records should be confined to that one location and numbers should show a consistency and be able to tie in to the suggested dates.


I can however add a bit to support the story (although I didn't doubt the story, only the belief that it related to the birds recently present). For what it is worth on the day of the Painted Snipe survey (12 November 2011) I was at Kelly's Swamp car park with Malcolm Fyfe and Sue Lashko when as we finished another group of people arrived that appeared to be bird watchers. I did not recognise any of these people but approached the man who appeared to be leading, as they were preparing to set off, to offer some tips as to what we had just seen and where. I think I recall that he knew of me (always a good start). Somehow (I think this is how it happened) he mentioned about his involvement with CSIRO as we talked about the Blue-billed Ducks. I asked if he knew of this story and he said yes and told me the name of the person who had, according to the story, been breeding these birds some years ago and had released them there. I won't reveal that name here but it is not a name I am familiar with. 


I have waited with this message as there isn't any urgency and Mark Clayton had told us he was away for some weeks at about that time and it would not be fair to make the suggestion without Mark being around. With Mark's recent comments about accuracy of data etc I thought it appropriate to put out a reminder (but hopefully not to restart the debate on the topic, which I suggest has had its run).



<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU