FW: [canberrabirds] unusual visitor

To: "" <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] unusual visitor
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2018 09:06:01 +0000

I think we have moved past that kind of quibble.  The two basic guides aiming to be helpful about ‘how common’ are the McComas  Taylor guide (still) and the COG list, to be found on the website.  Both of those embody the idea of likelihood of finding the species in suitable habitat at the right time of year.  The first gives the L Kookaburra as ‘very common’, the latter as ‘common’.


Whether a Kookaburra is usual or unusual in backyard X or backyard Y is a separate issue.  The answer to John’s question is that Kookaburras are not becoming unusual in Canberra.   However, one might be unusual in a particular backyard.  There is no standard of ‘important enough to report’ for this chatline..


From: Philip Veerman <>
Sent: Sunday, 5 August 2018 4:43 PM
To: 'chatline' <>
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] unusual visitor


Yes.  That supports my point. I expect we all have a reasonable perception of those 3 ideas. There isn’t a good word and un just means not. Thus, at a stretch “uncommon” as in “not common” could also be very rare or super abundant. “Not seen often” is still vague.


Even those quotes are not overly helpful. I reckon in our context “common” should relate more to abundance, rather than just recording rate (how often something is found).


My “hot potch” should have been hotch potch.......


From: Martin Butterfield [m("","martinflab");">]
Sent: Sunday, 5 August, 2018 4:05 PM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: John Harris; chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] unusual visitor


Surely "uncommon" plugs the gap rather nicely?  From the Cambridge Dictionary:

  1. Common  found frequently in many places or among many people:
  2. Uncommon:  not seenhappening, or experienced often:
  3. Rare:  not common; very unusual: (emphasis added)


On 3 August 2018 at 13:44, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Good question and the issue is largely semantics. It is sad and strange that there is no English word that bridges the gap between “common” and “rare”. We only have access to a hot potch of poorly defined adjectival additions like “un, moderately, rather,” etc that vaguely fill in gaps.


As for kookaburras, they are very territorial and need suitable habitat and food (that may not be suburban), so the presence of sufficient suitable habitat is going to impact on where they are seen.




From: John Harris [mailto:m("","john.harris");" target="_blank">] Sent: Friday, 3 August, 2018 11:21 AM            To: Robert Parnell            Cc: chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] unusual visitor


Are kookaburras becoming so unusual in Canberra that the sighting of them is important enough to report? The Report still calls them Common Breeding Resident. But also notes that there is a slow decline.  Is the fact that I see and hear them almost every day from my place (Nicholls, backing onto Ginninderra Creek) deluding me into thinking they are still common?  At what point do the editors list them as Uncommon Breeding Resident?


On 2 August 2018 at 22:38, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

I heard a kookaburra at home (Kambah) last week. Also unusual, though not a first. They are regularly perched on the light poles on Tuggeranong Parkway adjacent to Mt Taylor.

 From: Robert Parnell <>Date: Friday, 3 August 2018 at 9:44 amTo: sandra henderson <>Cc: chatline <>Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] unusual visitor


I have seen kookaburras in Telopia Park, Barton on two occasions in the last week or two.


On 2 August 2018 at 22:38, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

I heard a kookaburra at home (Kambah) last week. Also unusual, though not a first. They are regularly perched on the light poles on Tuggeranong Parkway adjacent to Mt Taylor.


From: sandra henderson [mailto:m("","shirmax2931");" target="_blank">] Sent: Thursday, 2 August, 2018 4:10 PMTo: Cog lineSubject: [canberrabirds] unusual visitor

 went into my front yard right now to find out what the commotion was about - and found a kookaburra sitting in my leafless ash tree, just metres from the front doot. The first one in my yard that I can ever remember. The local noisy miners, magpies and pied currawongs are not happy!

sandra h


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