I have forwarded Robin’s original email to David Drynan at the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Schemes. The bird have a patagial tag that was part of a PhD project done by an American student, Judith Scarl, at the ANU quite a few years ago. It is a technique that has been used extensively in Australia on egret species and was used by Dr Denis Saunders on his cockatoo work in Western Australia, also a long time ago. I actually passed a tagged galah on a road verge near the Dickson ambulance station about a week ago but couldn’t stop to read the tag. As Geoffrey has mentioned other references to these birds are in the archives.
If I get a reply from David I will post it to the chat line,
From: John Brown [
Sent: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 9:04 PM
To: Geoffrey Dabb;
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Escape from Monty Python?
I just want to check I understand this. Are you saying that these marks were put there by people doing research in order to track the bird (or the dispersion of a flock)? I have never seen or heard of that being done. Do you know who, when and why they are tagging the birds this way? If so we could get an indication of how old that bird is.
In the archive you’ll find intermittent reports on these long-ago disc-flagged trackees, Robin - but the EX is a nice point g
Sorry for the lousy photo (taken at distance on mobile phone) - but I was intrigued to find this Galah in the city with a bold label "EX" stamped on each wing ...
Was this an "ex parrot" that came back to life from Monty Python's famous "dead parrot" sketch, or is someone around town marking birds in this new way. It looked as though the marking had been spray-painted with a stencil onto each wing.