Several years ago I did a late afternoon walk along the Kambah Pool to Red Rock
Gorge track, leaving it much later than usual so that it was almost dark when I
finished. About half way along that track I became aware that there were many
bowerbirds flying down the hill from Gleneagles direction, towards the river at
dusk. Could almost be described as flocks.
Over the last few months and last several winters in general, there are
typically 5 to 10 of them within my GBS area almost every day. Or that is how
many I see. I expect there often would be a lot more than that. 2 weeks ago I
had two blue birds involved in a bit of a chase at my yard.
On Behalf Of Jean Casburn via Canberrabirds
Sent: Thursday, 4 August, 2022 4:39 PM
To: Canberra birds
Subject: FW: Winter flocking in bowerbirds
Yes like Anthony, Jenny Jack Paul Tony etc there are extra Bowerbirds in my
garden (five this morning). I have observed over time that rainy days seem to
suit them or provide an opportunity to mess about in one place. A blue satin
male has been in and out of the garden for some weeks, and green birds hopping
about with interest it appears. Interestingly the wing plumage of one of the
green birds appeared to be much darker in colour than others - but not patchy -
this bird was chased off by a strong looking green bird.
Eastern Spinebills have finally reappeared also.
On Behalf Of Anthony Overs via Canberrabirds
Sent: Tuesday, 2 August, 2022 11:16 PM
To: COG bird list
Subject: Winter flocking in bowerbirds
Just reading through the August gang-gang newsletter and Jack Holland’s column
(which is always excellent). Jack mentions observations by Jenny Bounds and
himself regarding increased numbers of bowerbirds in winter. There was a brief
exchange about this on this chatline on 18 August last year, with observations
from Jean Casburn, Paul Gatenby, Tony Lawson, and myself.
When I’ve talked about this phenomenon, I like to mention the data from the
original breeding bird study completed by Stephen Marchant at Moruya. On a ten
hectare block of forest there was one territory occupied by a blue male.
Stephen made an effort to band all bowerbirds one winter, ending up with 187
birds banded. That’s a huge number of birds passing through. The vast majority
of those were never encountered again.
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