Aberrant birds

To: 'Doug Laing & Helen Lilley' <>, 'COG Chatline' <>
Subject: Aberrant birds
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:47:45 +0000

This (or is it these) overly black male ZF have been noted and photographed there now weeks ago. I wonder if it is all the same birds. See message of 20 January from Paul Taylor also Lyndon Howe [ Sent: Friday, 10 February, 2017 7:06 PM and subsequent comments. Surely there is a common thread about their occurrence there.




From: Martin Butterfield [
Sent: Tuesday, 21 March, 2017 9:31 AM
To: Doug Laing & Helen Lilley
Cc: COG Chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Aberrant birds


Several/many years ago I saw a quite normal looking Zebra Finch at Kellys Swamp.  My memory  is that on consulting back issues of the Annual Bird Report found that most local records of the species were from that site, typically early in January.  This led me to the conclusions that 

  • there was an aviary not too far away and 
  • the owners went on holiday over Christmas giving the birds an opportunity to escape.



On 21 March 2017 at 09:16, Doug Laing & Helen Lilley <> wrote:

While on the subject of aberrant birds, I saw a group of 3 zebra finches on Sunday afternoon 12 March at Jerrabombera wetlands feeding in a hakea, clearly out of the ordinary. One was a near natural male though with a slightly larger than normal black patch below the barred throat/breast but the other two, both males, had jet black breasts and very red bills. Presume aviary escapees.


Doug Laing



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