FW: FW: Birds into windows

To: 'Mark Clayton' <>
Subject: FW: FW: Birds into windows
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2021 23:57:54 +0000

And Philip


From: Canberrabirds [ On Behalf Of Mark Clayton via Canberrabirds
Sent: Wednesday, 22 September, 2021 8:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] FW: FW: Birds into windows


I agree with Steve and Harvey.


On 21/09/2021 9:43 pm, Steve Read via Canberrabirds wrote:

Hi all – like Harvey, I have no problem with use of the word ‘platelets’ for buttonquail feeding depressions. They look like little plates, hence platelet.



From: Canberrabirds On Behalf Of Harvey Perkins via Canberrabirds
Sent: Tuesday, 21 September 2021 12:12 PM
To: Geoffrey Dabb
Cc: Canberrabirds
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] FW: FW: Birds into windows


Personally, I'd consider the use of the term (platelets) in a bird forum, specifically about button-quail, to be perfectly acceptable. 


Irrespective of the derivation of the term, and the fact that in medical/physiological speak platelet is a non-cellular cell derivative involved in blood clotting (which is also not a well known term in general parlance), 'platelet' has become a well-known term among birders familiar with this group of birds.


I personally have a much bigger 'beef' with the use of alternate instead of alternative, with the use of that instead of who when referring to people, and a swag of other mis-used language.




On Tue, 21 Sept 2021 at 11:12, Geoffrey Dabb <> wrote:

I do hope this will not sound pedantic, but I am raising this as a choice to be made about how we refer to something.  From the viewpoint of general usage, ‘platelets’ is not really appropriate.   My Macquarie   4th ed. says a ‘platelet’ is ‘a microscopic disc occurring in profusion in the blood, and acting as an important aid in coagulation’.


Birdlife Australia’s Birds in Backyards avoids the _expression_ when discussing the habits of the PBQ:


What does it do?


Painted Button Quail are active during the evening, night and early morning, feeding on the ground. They are usually seen in pairs or small family parties, searching for seeds, fruit, leaves and insects. They create distinctive "soup-plate" depressions when foraging, by spinning alternately on either leg and using the other to scrape away the leaf litter, leaving circular depressions in which they look for food.

In relation to PBQ feeding, HANZAB says: ‘Scratch and glean, spinning on alternate legs in litter to create distinctive circular depressions where they feed.  Up to 15 depressions can be made in 1.5m².’  interestingly that observation is from Canberra, Grahame Clark in 1974.  Unfortunately the source (Canberra Bird Notes 2 (10): 16-17) cannot be retrieved from the archive on the COG website  (not by me, anyway)


HANZAB has a longer discussion of feeding ‘depressions’ in relation to the Black-breasted Buttonquail, beginning with ‘Create distinctive crater-like depressions (platelets) in litter …’


So I suppose ‘platelets’ might be here to stay, just as a convenient _expression_. We should remember, though, that it might need some explanation for people who do not know about this special use of the term.


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