Golden Whistlers in Emu Ridge

To: Philip Veerman <>, 'COG Chatline' <>
Subject: Golden Whistlers in Emu Ridge
From: Kevin and Gwenyth <>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2020 12:55:28 +0000
Philip may be right, but we are basing our tentative “conclusion” (re “seep” = fulginosa) not on the Bird Guide but on Morcombe.
For the golden whistler, Morcombe has included quite a number (more than six) of recorded calls, with each call attributed to a particular ssp (and with several distinctly different calls, in some cases, for the one ssp). Of all these, the only one with a dominant “seep” call – which is the call we were hearing today (much more so than the other calls) is – according to the Morcombe recordings – the fulginosa ssp.
Sent: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 10:22 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Golden Whistlers in Emu Ridge

Well I wonder. Is it actually likely that a call as simple as “seep” and our ability to identify it as such, would be different between sub species? I suggest not likely. Maybe the Morcombe ... app recorded it from this form but that may not mean he was suggesting it to be restricted to them. As I read The Australian Bird Guide (Menkhorst et al) 2017 edition, it mentions this “seep” call but does not specify it to just one subspecies.


Their presence in a Canberra garden at this time of year is nice. Pleasant, I suppose, maybe a bit ho-hum…..




From: Kevin and Gwenyth [
Sent: Tuesday, 5 May, 2020 4:48 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Golden Whistlers in Emu Ridge


We were entertained for about 10-15 minutes at about 1.30 pm today in our Emu Ridge backyard by a pair (male and female) of golden whistlers.  Apart from a few very brief stops – mostly out of site among our and neighbours’ trees, but once or twice perched fleetingly in full site – they were repeatedly ‘chasing’ each other at speed, about  a metre apart, around and through the trees.  The dominant call was a single “seep” sound, repeated every few seconds.  It reminded us, inexpert as we are, of the single high pitched calls of king parrots (also regular visitors here), though rather quieter.  According to the recordings of the golden whistler in our Morcombe ... app, this “seep” is the ‘contact call’ of the fulginosa sub-species, which – according to The Australian Bird Guide (Menkhorst et al)  - is to be found in western Victoria and SE SA, which is a long way from Canberra!  Are the various ssp well separated geographically, as the bird guide suggests, or do they mix to some extent, so that it really could have been fulginosa we were seeing?


We’ve not seen golden whistlers near our house in Emu Ridge, but do occasionally see (usually a single male) them in walks along the western side of Lake Ginninderra, south of Ginninderra Drive.


Is this occurrence of interest, or just ho-hum?


Kevin and Gwenyth Bray

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU