Re: [Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Zebra Finches]

To: Mark Kliene <>
Subject: Re: [Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Zebra Finches]
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 16:26:57 +1100
Hi Mark

>From the Bird Observer Club Notes ! Back on 15/6/1948 Roy
Wheeler saw 3 Zebra Finch in Bernard St. Cheltenham and he
included the species in his series of articles called, with
various titles, something like "Birds of the Market Garden
District" published in 1948/49. This area ran roughly from
Oakleigh to Mordialloc and 112 species were listed.

Wheeler (who was secretary of BOC for ages and also President of
the RAOU) compiled what are in effect atlases of Victorian
birds. His 1967 "A handlist of the birds of Victoria" says the
Zebra Finch was common and "Becoming well established in place
near Melbourne". His map however does not show them as occurring
in south/SE Melbourne: only to the west/north.  A similar
distribution can be inferred from his 1979 "The birds of
Victoria and where to find them." and is roughly the same as in
the recent Australian field guides.

One seen in Bayside on 8/12/1993 was almost certainly from an

Since goldfinch and greenfinch were extremely common in this
area back then (not so now) I guess the zebra finch were
associated with rough grassland/unimproved pasture and/or
wasteland with thistles etc.

Michael Norris
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