Black 'chooks" are not trash birds....

To: Neville Pamment <>
Subject: Black 'chooks" are not trash birds....
From: Alexandra Appleman <>
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 08:39:32 +1000 (EST)
I am not claiming to speak for other northern birders, but I like black
kites (or 'chooks' as they are sometimes called in North Queensland). I
recall a thread on birding-aus around the middle of 1997 on black
kites taking out cane toads by flipping them on their backs and
feeding the non-toxic flesh to their nestlings.   

I have begun to lodge 'Bird of Prey' watch sheets in North Queensland and
the initial data is showing some interesting patterns. Black kites are the
most numerous raptor on the coast and inland to about Charters Towers;
beyond that corvids seem to be the dominant scavanger. I will be looking
out for all raptors on a trip to Barcaldine next week (~1600 km round
trip from Townsville).  

Also, on a trip to PNG in 1996 I was surprised to see brahminy kites
dominate south of the Central Highlands and black kites to the north. 

Any comments?

Alex Appleman

On Fri, 20 Mar 1998, Neville Pamment wrote:

> I live in Clifton Hill, an inner Melbourne suburb. There is extensive
> parkland nearby along the Yarra River and Merri Creek and much has been
> done in recent years to revegetate this. Sacred Kingfishers occur along the
> river and creek all through spring and summer. This morning (March 20th) at
> least one bird was still present, and on consulting my data base I find
> this is the latest autumn record I have for this bird in Melbourne (or
> Victoria for that matter). Does anyone have a later, or even overwintering
> record?
> Another good bird seen in nearby Alphington a couple of weeks ago - a Black
> Kite being harassed by Little Ravens. This may be a trash bird for you
> northerners but it is the first I have seen in inner Melbourne in over
> fifteen years. They are rare generally down here, though I have seen birds
> occasionally at Werribee.

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