Little Ravens at Strathnairn

To: "'n/a n/a'" <>, "'COG Chatline'" <>
Subject: Little Ravens at Strathnairn
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 10:40:01 +1100
Not sure how to interpret "Is there any precedent for them doing this in Canberra suburbs." I'm sure there is. My guess is they would be eating larvae in the soil. Here is the text from The GBS Report (which you have). Which although there was not much data to go on at the time, it is quite consistent with what you wrote. No doubt there are many more records since then, that could if it was complied clarify the occurrence pattern. This does really underline that it is well overdue for The GBS Report to be updated. The COG Atlas is also a useful reference on this.

Little Raven Corvus mellori

This species was only recognised as specifically separate from the Australian Raven in 1967. It is quite difficult to distinguish if seen briefly and not accompanied by detecting the difference in their calls. Even so the species is clearly marginal in Canberra, occurring in the outskirts, open fields, etc. It is usually recorded as large flocks flying over, with mean group size of 17.03. This may be significantly understated from its true value. Of the 218 observations recorded as this species, there was a surprisingly high 122 observations that were of less than 8 individuals. This raises a suspicion that some of these may have actually been misidentified Australian Ravens, which typically occur individually or in small groups. There were 37 observations of 30 or more birds, which is characteristic of this species. As the Little Raven has far fewer records than the Australian Raven (104 to 1220), a few errors have a far greater effect on their statistics. The available evidence indicates a very different pattern for this species. It shows an enormous peak in January (disproportionately contributed to by several very large flocks at several sites in Year 17) but generally many more in the warmer months up to April. There are many months (especially during winter) during which it was not observed at all. Numbers have fluctuated dramatically but appear to be increasing.
Graphs on page: 103, Rank: 91, A = 0.07212, F = 8.40%, W = 8.7, R = 0.423%, G = 17.03.

-----Original Message-----
From: n/a n/a [
Sent: Wednesday, 1 April 2015 9:17 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Little Ravens at Strathnairn

For four Mondays in March a flock of Little Ravens ( about 140) has been present near 'Strathnairn' Holt. They have milled about the golf course , 'Pine Ridge", 'Strathnairn" and towards the Murrumbidgee. At times just a few are drifting around at others, a big stream. Is there any precedent for them doing this in Canberra suburbs. What is  keeping them here?
Bill Graham
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