Re: Aviary escapers / releasees

To: "Ian Clark" <>, <>, <>
Subject: Re: Aviary escapers / releasees
From: "Philip A Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 12:38:33 +1100
As to the issue of whether unusual species that are kept in captivity
turning up in suburbia, one of the means of deciding, is statistical. In my
text for the Garden Bird Survey of 1101 observer years in Canberra (17
years), I used the aspect of how commonly such odd species are recorded,
relative to how often they are kept as pets or in aviculture. There are of
course many other factors involved but I can tell you that, based on a big
sample, (though I did no statistical tests on this), the match is very good.
As for the Button-quail in captivity, Mark Shephard's book 'Aviculture in
Australia', says Little B-q "is a popular aviary bird" (funny, I don't think
I've seen it); Painted B-q: "is inexpensive and relatively easy to breed in
captivity", Red-chested B-q: "is very uncommon in captivity and expensive".
I could resurrect my tale of the experienced aviculturalist who was trying
to achieve success breeding a Stubble Quail with a Painted B-q. I managed to
set him right using the first edition (Volume 1) Slater Field Guide (when it
was brand new), this was about 28 years ago. He wasn't very happy, he had
paid a lot of money for them from someone who had been trying for years to
get them to show an interest in each other and was very proud of the aviary
he was building for them, to be told by some 15 year old drop-in visitor. I
think apart from being different families of birds they were the same sex.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Clark <>
To:  <>;
Date: Monday, 31 January 2000 20:04
Subject: Re: Painted Button-quail in suburbia

>>Morning all,
>>I too am reluctant to rule out the 'natural occurrence theory' re Painted
>>Button-quail in inner urban Melbourne.  I have seen a pair at Blackburn
>>Sanctuary (c. 30 ha reserve, c 15 km east of Melbourne CBD, essentially
>>from other native vegetation by at least a kilometre or two of residential
>>suburbia), running around making platelets, etc., just as 'normal wild
>birds' do
>>when you see them miles from suburbia.  I can also recall reports of them
>>into windows at Clayton (c. 20 km south-east of Melbourne CBD), and Balwyn
>>10 km east of Melbourne CBD).  Added to Rohan's observations, these
>>the question of the 'aviary escapee  theory': where do you draw the line
>>likely aviary escapees and likely wild birds as you move from the CBD,
>>inner suburbs, outer suburbs, and eventually native bush beyond the
>>Paul Peake.
>I  dont know if there are any guide lines ,more than likely there wouldn't
>be ,they  wouldn't be workable
> I tend to  work along the lines  of  if you see more than one  of a
>or a small group  it is not likely to be an escapee   although you cant
>out deliberate release
>also you need to consider  if the bird is common in aviculture or not , an
>avicultural background might help here
>I also consider if the bird is in or out of habitat  for instance  a lone
>superb parrot ,Diamond dove  or zebra finch in a Melbourne  back yard is
>likely to be an escapee
>A group of button quail in remnant vegetation are likely to be wild birds
>This reminds me of the long billed corellas which have set up their
>populations  all over the country . I still wonder if our locals here along
>the yarra  are derived from released stock  or natural spread from the
>western districts
>Then there is the crested pigeons down  bayside  I would think they were
>deliberatly   released (easily bred in aviculture ,difficult to sell or low
>value) Or have bred from deliberatly released  birds
> At the end of the day its still a guess
>  Ian
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