Re Swifts and Companions

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Re Swifts and Companions
From: "Mike Tarburton" <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 08:27:30 +1000
Dear BA's and particularly the Cooks

thanks for reporting the Fork-tailed Swifts in Victoria.  This sighting is
only the second Fork-tailed Swift sighting that I have from Victoria for
this season. It is interesting that the other which was of a single bird,
was also reported by the Cooks, in December.

It is not uncommon to find other aerial insect eating birds feeding and
sometimes travelling together.  Presumably they are feeding on different
sized prey that are flying together, or as often is the case, being carried
by rising air in a thermal.  It is interesting to record the different
species feeding together and my database on swift sightings has a field for
such observations.

It is always worth checking out as many individual birds as possibly in
swift flocks because of this practice of feeding together.  Some of our
rarer swifts, swiftlets and swallows have been observed by doing so.

Happy birding


Dr Mike Tarburton
Assoc Prof Biology
Pacific Adventist University
PMB  Boroko
Papua New Guinea

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