Pied Currawongs migration changes

To: "'Denis Wilson'" <>
Subject: Pied Currawongs migration changes
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2012 17:10:10 +1000
Thanks, good comments, good logic and seem a very likely additional contributor. Requires a bit of background of early knowledge to think of that one though. Were there really so few big trees around here several decades ago? A program on TV maybe last year talked about how Black Mountain was mostly open grassland with few trees and showed several early photos that certainly support this idea. I would think then that this change would impact on numbers of many other species of woodland / forest birds. Does your father's book talk about that? Maybe there is that evidence. I don't know, it is before my time here.
I have taken the liberty to change the subject header and taken off the earlier messages - a useful thing to do, to get off this Myna article.
-----Original Message-----From: Denis Wilson [ Sent: Sunday, 12 August 2012 4:36 PM      To: Philip Veerman
Cc: Mike Braysher;
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] The Common Myna: 'Is It Benign or Is It a Pariah?' Comment on Mike's message.

Hi Cog Chat line members

Now that the subject appears to be drifting to Pied Currawongs, I can offer the comment that the first records of breeding of Currawongs in Canberra of which I am aware, came from an "egg collector" (pers comm, as they say in official journals), in the early 1960s.

The location of that "first Currawong's nest and egg collection" was Telopea Park circa 1961. Telopea Park was one of the oldest established plantations of tall Eucalypts, in the early days of Canberra.

Subsequently they became established in Forrest, and then the ANBG as those areas developed enough tall Eucalypts for the Currawongs to breed in.

The supply of succulent nestlings in the ANBG is a matter of record, courtesy of the extensive studies of  Superb Fairy Wrens there by the ANU students.

But in my personal experience, it was the presence of established tall Eucalypts which enabled the winter-visiting Currawongs to remain in Canberra over the summer, in suitable breeding habitats.

The suggestion of available high-protein food (notably nestlings of other birds) as the causal link risks putting the Chicken before the Egg - in my opinion. Two sides of the equation are necessary, I agree, but the thing which changed in or around 1960s in Canberra was the maturation of the early Parks and Gardens plantations of tall Eucalypts.

Denis Wilson
Denis Wilson
"The Nature of Robertson"

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