Superb parrots, response to Noisy Miner

To: Con Boekel <>
Subject: Superb parrots, response to Noisy Miner
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 01:44:17 +0000
Or possibly the hollow contains a sub-clinical level of nasties immunising the users against infection?

I'm reminded of a plumber in Adelaide saying he liked to get his apprentices from the Port area.  Any that came from the electorates of Boothby and Sturt were not used to sh#t and kept getting ill!

On 13 January 2016 at 12:36, Con Boekel <> wrote:
There were perhaps 20-30 Superbs at the AIS this morning.

The basic social group seemed to be 3-6 family with adult males (or females) apparently trailing begging young but coalescing into larger flocks in feeding locations or in loafing roosts.

Superbs seem to be noisy when they are preening or socializing, when they are about to take off, while they are flying and when they are settling in after landing in a tree. They often feed quietly. This morning I heard a single distant call from a Noisy Miner. Immediately, a flock of around fifteen birds which had been feeding on the ground flew into the nearest canopy and settled there. The did all this without a single call. I looked in the direction of the Miner call and saw a Hobby flying high.

It seems to me to be the case that Superbs tend to respond to different Miner calls in different ways. Some calls they ignore. In response to other calls, they stop doing what they were doing, watch and listen. This particular call caused instant silent flight response. I call this hypothesis of flexible Superb responses to Miner calls the 'Superb AIS Hypothesis'.

In another interesting sidelight a large Yellow Box has about 4-5 metres up a hollow in the main fork which holds/held water. Over the past there mornings it has been visited by Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Noisy Miners as well as Superbs. It has been used for both bathing and drinking and I imagine that the brew would by now be an infernal potential spreader of bird diseases.



On 13/01/2016 11:47 AM, Philip Veerman wrote:

Indeed it is interesting, although we can only ponder until it happens or not if this is a sign of a trend or an unusual event that won’t be repeated. Not far away, I have never had Superb Parrots at my area in Kambah. And several years since there has been a Gang-gang Cockatoo here. Just out of interest, are there any sites with simultaneous significant numbers of both Superb Parrots and King Parrots?


So valuable that COG started its GBS back in 1981 and to have all that data available. All these continuing changes on so many species keeps me increasingly convinced that The GBS Report should be updated and reissued. Maybe for 35 years. Not least because the 3rd edition has almost sold out. It would only take me a few months to do it......




From: sandra henderson
Sent: Wednesday, 13 January 2016 10:48 AM
To: Stephanie Haygarth
Cc: Canberra Birds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Superb parrots, Ainslie


Amazing expansion in their local distribution. I'm also finding they are now one of the most common birds in my garden bird survey in Wanniassa - 6 of them yesterday in a group. Prior to this sudden influx I had a single bird some years ago for my GBS. 

So far today in the garden both rosellas, galahs, superbs, a king parrot, little corellas, sulphur-crested cockies, with rainbow lorikeets and a single yellow-tailed black cocky flying over. Just waiting for some Gang-gangs to decide Wanniassa is the place to be!

Sandra h

On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, Stephanie Haygarth <m("","stephanie");" target="_blank">> wrote:

At about 8.15 this morning (13 January) about a dozen noisy Superbs, including adults and begging young, landed above us in a gum in our Duffy St garden, while we were picking plums to save them from the birds and possums. They're now one of the most common birds in and over our garden in the mornings, though they haven't yet come down to the bird baths.
Steph H

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