Re: Eclectus Parrots

Subject: Re: Eclectus Parrots
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 11:00:26
Max -

The relevant text is as follows:

"During the 1953 Camp-out at Lake Barrine, north Queensland, there was a
strong suspicion by at least two members that they had seen the Eclectus
Parrot (Lorius pectoralis).  However, as they had not had a perfect sight
of the bird, and as it had not previously been recorded within a
considerable distance from the area, the sighting was not noted in The Emu,
part 1, vol.54, in the paper which dealt with the birds of the Camp-out.
Therefore, I feel it worth recording that during a recent visit to
Queensland I had an excellent view, for almost ten minutes, of five of
these birds at a spot approximately thirty miles from Lake Barrine, on
August 4, 1955.  They were at an altitude of over 2,000 feet in the
Herberton Range south-west of Atherton, and were high in a large tree
overhanging a forest track.  The party included two fully-coloured females,
and I believe there were more birds in the same tree that I could not
observe clearly.  They appeared to be resting and not feeding, though there
was an occasional slow movement among the branches by each of the five
birds, which eventually all retired into a thicker part of the tree where
they could no longer be seen.  No doubt the scarcity of field observers in
the far north of Queensland has so far limited our knowledge of bird
distribution in the area."  [Extract from: Austin, Claude N. (1956). Range
extension of three bird species. Emu 56: 80-81.]

Joe Forshaw [in: Forshaw & Cooper. (1981). Australian Parrots (2nd edn).
p.140] comments:

"In 1953 there was a suspected sighting of Eclectus Parrots at Lake Barrine
on the Atherton Tableland, well to the south of the normal range.  Austin
(1956) reports that in August 1955, at more than 625 m in the Herberton
range, approximately 50 km from Lake Barrine, a party of five parrots was
observed, though only two were clearly visible.  I very much doubt that
Eclectus Parrots would have crossed the belt of dry savannah at the base of
Cape York Peninsula, even by way of the seaboard, and there have been no
further records.  These parrots are kept in captivity in the Cairns
district, so the small party observed may have originated from escaped birds."

Regards,  Hugo.

Hugo Phillipps,
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: (03) 9882 2622. Fax: (03) 9882 2677.
O/s: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Email: <>
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