birding-aus Pheasant Coucals

Subject: birding-aus Pheasant Coucals
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 09:41:12 +1000

Alan Leishman wrote "According to the 1995-1996 Australian Bird and Bat
Banding Scheme Report there have been only 59 Pheasant Coucals banded
between 1953 and 1995. None of these banded birds have been recaptured."

This is undoubtably true but how many people have really tried to catch
Pheasant Coucals?  I'm a firm believer that where there is a will there is
a way!  I know Alan is also of like mind but merely stated the facts as
they are.  Some species, however, are more difficult to catch than others.

I'm sure that some time spent observing these birds will result in clues as
to how they might be caught for banding.  Do the birds use regular runways?
If so, could a funell type trap be used.  Do they respond agressively to
taped calls?  If so, could they be pursuaded to enter a funnel trap with a
cassette player inside or to fly into a mist net (a large mesh net would be
required).  I haven't given this much thought - these have quickly come to

Bird-banding is merely a refined hunting technique.  Unfortunately some
banders would make lousy hunters as they don't get to know their prey
beforehand.  The best bird-banders I know demonstrate superb hunting

I would encourage Lil to at least explore the idea before committing
herself.  As I say "where there is a will there is a way" but this must be
tempered with the time, and other, limitations than an honours project is

I suppose the main question that has yet to be asked is how are the birds
to be marked?  Is she going to rely on mark/recapture, in which case one
must ask will the birds become trap shy?  If colour-banding, are the bands
going to be observable?  Patagial tagging, will tags endure the beating
they will receive in thick undergrowth?  There is quite a bit to consider.

David Geering

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