The lack of Grey Fantails

To: 'Ryu Callaway' <>, 'COG Chat' <>
Subject: The lack of Grey Fantails
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2016 06:56:16 +0000



Sort of depends what you mean by “in their area “. If you mean suburban, that is normal for summer. Because they move a bit away from the suburbs into the woodland for breeding at this time of year. This text from The GBS Report. Relevant bits in red.


Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa

This species is a common inhabitant of woodland and forest. It is conspicuous in its behaviour and voice and will readily approach and flutter around people. Sometimes they even appear to follow people. The occurrence pattern shows an interesting similarity to the Willie Wagtail but is more marked. From a low in November and December rises smoothly to a peak in March, then declines through winter with a minor second peak in September and October. This shows the two periods of partial migration through Canberra and the low numbers whilst breeding. Long-term there has been a fairly even increase in abundance. This has occurred in both the highs and lows of the monthly pattern. Breeding records are some nest building from October, though mostly of dependent young from January to early March. Most breeding records are one-off observations, one had nest with eggs to dependent young over four weeks (Year 21 at Site 230).
Graphs on page: 102, Rank: 20, Breeding Rank: 30, A = 0.35350, F = 82.61%, W = 51.9, R = 22.954%, G = 1.54.

But the Atlas shows high recording rate as percentage of cells in warmer months, that is because it is still common in the southern part of the ACT.




From: Ryu Callaway [
Sent: Sunday, 18 December, 2016 4:35 PM
To: COG Chat
Subject: [canberrabirds] The lack of Grey Fantails


Has anyone else noticed fewer or an absence of Grey Fantails in their area as compared to usual over the past few months? I haven't seen any on Wanniassa Hills for 6 weeks (5 visits), and have recorded very few on other trips. 


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