Birds into windows

To: "" <>, 'Richard Allen' <>
Subject: Birds into windows
From: "Hawkins, Brian via Canberrabirds" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2021 22:55:59 +0000



G’day Jack & all,


My impression on the NSW North Coast was that PBQs were seasonal migrants – I used to see them weekly in spring and summer, but never in winter.


One day I found an injured PBQ on a firetrail, brought it home and kept it in a shoe-box for a few days until it recovered.


I took it outside on a full moon night: it sprang high into the air and whizzed away. I can imagine them flying long distances, and for some reason (something I’ve read?) I think of them as travelling at night.


Last time I checked, there were quite a few recent PBQ records around Canberra. I’ve seen them twice in Namadgi over the Autumn/Winter, including a pair (with the female calling at dusk) on top of Boboyan Trig on the Yerrabi track.


Best regards,




From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of jandaholland--- via Canberrabirds
Sent: Monday, 20 September 2021 8:41 AM
To: 'Richard Allen' <>
Cc: 'Canberrabirds' <>
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Birds into windows


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Many thanks Richard, yes, I had seen those, but in the probably mistaken belief that they don’t fly far had opted for the closer less recent records.  In my experience PBQ are reluctant to flush, much less so than for example the Brown Quail I have been seeing over recent months, though I have experienced them jumping vertically for 3-4 m when disturbed after dark. 


In fact it’s been hard to find any readily accessible information on whether they can fly for any distance, with the HANZAB entry (now nearly 30 years old) noting that “when flushed, fly fast, weaving through the trees ….. usually a metre of two above the ground; usually fly some distance before dropping and running.”   However, it also notes that patterns of dispersal may be linked to seasonal factors such as rainfall ...., and that the Aust. Atlas (RAOU one) claims that individuals may fly long distances. 


While the Birdlife Australia Atlas does not clearly show seasonal movement, this may be because it is related to conditions rather than season.  So it appears that like other species such as crakes which can suddenly appear if conditions are right, they may fly considerable distances to take advantage of conditions. 


Jack Holland


From: Richard Allen <>
Sent: Sunday, 19 September 2021 6:45 PM
Cc: Geoffrey Dabb <>; Canberrabirds <m("","canberrabirds");">>
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Birds into windows


September records from ebird show a couple at each of 3 sites that line up with your place Geoff. Campbell park (Steve H), Isaacs ridge (David D) and Wanniassa hills (myself). 



Sent from my iPhone


On 19 Sep 2021, at 5:26 pm, jandaholland--- via Canberrabirds <> wrote:

Geoffrey, very interesting, it must have been a big surprise.  Checking the eBird Australia records from 2010 reveals single records of single birds at Callum Brae in June 2020 and June 2021, and 2 birds on Red Hill in September 2019, possibly from where yours was heading S.


Around noon yesterday a not so loud bang on our deck window alerted me to a bird which tried to flutter away but then came to rest under the deck table.  I thought it was a female blackbird but on closer inspection the barred tail first alerted me it was an adult Fan-tailed Cuckoo.  It’s the first I’ve had in my Chapman GBS site since the 2003 fires, though there have been a few local records, particularly over the past couple of years, at both Narrabundah Hill and Cooleman Ridge. 


A slightly happier ending though.  After recovering for about 15 minutes, on my approach it flew to a casuarina about 10 m away, where it recovered for another 15 minutes before it was last seen about 10 minutes later foraging quite actively there.  


Jack Holland  


From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of Geoffrey Dabb
Sent: Sunday, 19 September 2021 3:58 PM
To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Lock down protocaol for Birders



It was not necessary to leave my LOCAL REGION to investigate the loud THUMP on the window at sunrise this morning.  I found an ex- Painted Buttonquail that must have been commuting south at some speed at about 5m above ground level. Now in the freezer.









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