To: "ozbird" <>
Subject: Play
From: "Susan Myers" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 19:15:15 +1000
After an Easter trip to Mootwingee (SW NSW) where I spent a bit of time
watching the Apostlebirds (which are abundant around the camp site, in
particular) I have become interested in the role of play in birds. Recently
I saw a David Attenborough docco on Ground Hornbills in southern Africa
where he claimed (or his scriptwriters did) that they are one of the only
known bird species to play, either as immatures or adults. This is, to
mind, obviously a false statement as many species appear to play to
different degrees. This said,the degree & vigour of the playful behaviour
exhibited by the Apostlebirds was quite marked. I also noted that
allopreening was regularly carried out. On reading what little literature I
could find at home, it seems to be related to sexual behaviour or
maintenance of group cohesion. I can't say I've ever noticed this in
White-winged Choughs, however (maybe because I haven't been paying enough
I wonder if other people have similar observations or more knowledge on the
subject and would care to share these.

Susan Myers
phone: +61 3 9819 2539
Email:Susan Myers 

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