I have a bird ID quiz with a difference, for anyone who is game.

To: 'David Rees' <>
Subject: I have a bird ID quiz with a difference, for anyone who is game.
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 23:36:37 +0000

Hello David,


Yes indeed. I wrote:  I can send photos separately to anyone who wants to make a suggestion. As in not wanting to take space on the COG list, because it is an aside and for now I don’t know how widely the owner wants this message to go out. Although the photos are small (4 jpg total 2608 kb). Thanks for expressing an interest. I will forward the photos to you and anyone else who wishes to see. I really am hoping that some of the banding fraternity could assist with this as I am curious as to what suggestions might arise and whether it is indeed possible to work out the various bits of this specimen.





From: David Rees [
Sent: Monday, 12 March, 2018 10:13 AM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: COG Chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] I have a bird ID quiz with a difference, for anyone who is game.




Your photo does not appear to be attached. You might need to ensure its below the attachment size limit that the list has.




On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 7:14 PM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

If anyone would like to help, that may be appreciated. The situation is that it is not a quiz, because I don’t know what the bird is, because it isn’t one bird. I can send photos separately to anyone who wants to make a suggestion. The situation is this. Last August at the antiques fair at Albert Hall I came across this oddity. The owner has just sent me better photos than I could get with my phone, through the glass.

About your 19th (?) or early 20th century stuffed birds in a glass dome things at the antiques fair at Albert Hall, As I said it is easy to identify all the birds, they are Aussies, apart from one that I could not identify. I thought the combination of characters on that was quite odd. I took some (not so great) photos on my mobile phone. The more I look at the photos the more convinced I am that it is a concoction of three birds stitched together. I don’t know whether that was a common practice of those times. Maybe you can advise me about that.  At the time I wondered if it was from PNG, as it clearly has affinities with Australian birds but I don’t have any book to check. This is the advice I have from a friend: “I’ve been through the New Guinea books with no success.  Perhaps of more relevance I’ve gone through the Handbook of the Birds of the World summary volume (vol 2 ‘Passerines) which has an illustration of every species.  Again, no match. “

So that bird clearly is not real, thus it is certainly a fake, a concoction, it is bits of different birds sewn together. Whether that adds or detracts from the value of the dome I am not going to comment on. A clue is that the join of the head to the body just looks too abrupt. What you have is the head I think of one of our many species of small honeyeaters or maybe even some of the warblers. Sorry I can’t tell from the photo which species, it may be possible to tell with a very detailed look but I don’t have enough to go on. The back is glittering blue, it clearly is of a male Fairy-wren, not sure which species but the most likely is of course the Superb Fairy-wren, being the only really common species. The belly of the bird also sort of matches a Fairy-wren although it is hard to tell, it is very untidy. The rump, vent and tail (the tail is black with white spots at the tip, red and yellow at the base) is almost certainly from a Spotted Pardalote. So that is the three birds most likely, whatever it is certainly 3 or 4 species.

The other birds are easy. From top going clockwise. I hope I got them all on my photo:

Above Top: Diamond Firetail Finch, Spotted Pardalote,

Centre: Scarlet Honeyeater, Eastern Rosella,

Right: Superb Fairy-wren, Rose Robin, fake bird, Painted Button-quail, Variegated Fairy-wren, Little Lorikeet,

Left: Red-backed Fairy-wren, Southern Emu-wren, Mistletoebird.


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