Juvenile Nankeen Night-Herons on the Molonglo

To: 'John Harris' <>, 'Con Boekel' <>, "" <>
Subject: Juvenile Nankeen Night-Herons on the Molonglo
From: Mark Clayton <>
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2017 07:26:13 +0000

Sorry John but one last word (or two) from me. This species has been recorded breeding while in juvenile plumage – see Braithwaite, L.W and M. Clayton., 1976. In Ibis 118, 584 – 6. We recorded breeding birds in juvenile plumage at a swamp that we did a lot of duck work on near Booligal NSW. If the birds were breeding locally they would be fairly easy to pick up. I suggest that the birds being recorded locally are from well away from the local area. There will be many more records of birds moving into the local area as condition dry up out west, for example the Australian Painted Snipe that I recorded last week near Lake George.




From: John Harris [
Sent: Sunday, 5 February 2017 6:11 PM
To: Con Boekel;
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Juvenile Nankeen Night-Herons on the Molonglo


Thank you Con. That sounds to me very much like the last word on the subject!





From: Con Boekel <>
Date: Sunday, 5 February 2017 at 5:56 PM
To: chatline <>
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Juvenile Nankeen Night-Herons on the Molonglo


There could be both locals and outsiders, I imagine.


On 2/5/2017 5:42 PM, Martin Butterfield wrote:

The ones this morning flew both strongly and high.  IMHO could easily have made it from Gum Swamp or Warren.


On 5 February 2017 at 17:23, Con Boekel <> wrote:

The NKNH youngster at Giralang Pond looked very young to me which seems to suggest that it was raised locally - possibly on the island in the Pond. The JWNR trio seem to be more mature and physically they could have flown in from elsewhere. The only straw in the wind is that they seem to behave a little bit like siblings - a very little bit. This suggests that the too may have been raised locally.

Not at all sure about either proposition.




On 2/5/2017 3:11 PM, Martin Butterfield wrote:

Looking at the 'Movements' section for this species in HANZAB the first words are "Poorly understood" which are I think HANZAB-speak for "Anyone gotta grant for a post-doc?".  However they specifically mention "dispersive movement from drying swamps of Murray- Darling...." and give other examples of birds moving from Victoria to Darwin and birds turning up in NZ and Christmas Island.


So my guess is they've a good breeding season out West, the cornucopia out there is running a tad empty and they've heard of the bounty out this way.




On 5 February 2017 at 14:28, Christine <> wrote:

Apparently there are still two at Jerra Wetlands this morning, and I came across two more at West Belconnen Ponds. Where are they coming from? Where are their parents?




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