I don’t think any passerines are zygodactyls John. Parrots & co. but not passerines.
From: John Layton [
Sent: Thursday, 7 August 2014 4:02 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Birds at Boot Hill
Mid morning today we stopped off at Hall cemetery which often produces a few avian highlights viz: A snap-crackle-and-pop sound drew our attention to a super-sized bowl of Rice Bubbles ... no, something’s not right here, read pair of Grey Currawongs pulling bark from a small eucalyptus tree. A moment later they were driven off by a pair of Pied Currawongs. We saw about seven Varied Sittellas moving down a tree trunk.
I seem to remember that in the not too distant past there was discussion about zygodactyls, and it came out that tree creepers are zygodactyls (I think). This leads me to ask if their fellow bark-travellers, sittellas, are too, albeit they travel in the opposite direction. Have done a quick check of our books but am still unclear.
Also a pair of Australian Ravens nest building, one carried what appeared to be sheep’s wool, but when a small tuft fell we found it was a rather tough synthetic material maybe the stuffing from a car seat.
Now, for the real attention grabber. A Pied Butcher moved rapidly across the ground about 15 metres from where we stood. It scurried along for a good 30 metres before flying off in the direction of the village. We drove to Hall and searched around for some 15 minutes but to no avail.
John K. Layton