Birds into windows

To: "Hawkins, Brian" <>
Subject: Birds into windows
From: Luke Downey via Canberrabirds <>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2021 23:30:58 +0000
Over the years I have seen PBQ on a few occasions on my property in Wamboin. They are very irregular, I've probably seen them about 5 times in 11 years. Each time I see them they seem to be around for a few days/weeks before disappearing for many months/years. I am not totally sure if the birds move around in the local area (plenty of suitable habitat on neighbouring properties including Kowen Forest) or if they move more broadly in the area, however from my observations I presume they move more broadly away from the local area because generally if they are around the platelets are very easy to pick out, and I have only ever noticed platelets coinciding with when I have seen PBQ around here. I would see no reason that they wouldn't move between patches of suitable habitat - this also seems to fit well with the scattered and irregular sightings across the ACT region, with no "regular" sites they are really resident at. I've also seen several records over the years of birds crashing into windows in suburban areas, again suggesting that the species tends to moves around. Other BQ species such as Red-chested and Little Buttonquail also seem to move around with the conditions, often irrupting in large numbers when suitable conditions arise. 

Unfortunately my hopes of seeing them on the property again are fairly diminished since our neighbour got a Labrador that is able to roam around their entire property and even straying onto other properties (less so now but still to the anger of us and many others). It chases off lots of the wildlife, and many animals are probably staying well clear of their property now.

On Mon, 20 Sept 2021 at 08:56, Hawkins, Brian via Canberrabirds <> wrote:



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


CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the ACT Government. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognise the sender and know the content is safe.


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");" target="_blank">>
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.









Image removed by sender.


This is the email announcement and discussion list of the Canberra Ornithologists Group.
Emails posted to the list that exceed 2 MB (2,000 kB) in size, including attachments, will be rejected.
All emails distributed via the list are archived at It is a condition of list membership that you agree to your contributions being archived.

Canberrabirds mailing list

This email, and any attachments, may be confidential and also privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete all copies of this transmission along with any attachments immediately. You should not copy or use it for any purpose, nor disclose its contents to any other person.

This is the email announcement and discussion list of the Canberra Ornithologists Group.
Emails posted to the list that exceed 2 MB (2,000 kB) in size, including attachments, will be rejected.
All emails distributed via the list are archived at It is a condition of list membership that you agree to your contributions being archived.

Canberrabirds mailing list

Attachment: ATT00001.txt
Description: ATT00001.txt

<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