I was surprised to read that the NSW Scientific
Committee accepted the Orange-bellied Parrot as an "Irregular visitor to NSW".
The grounds for acceptance don't seem to be very scientific to me.
McGill (A Handlist of the Birds in NSW 1960)
mentioned the 5 specimens collected at Middle Head about 1900 (in North 1912)
where they were supposed to be breeding (sic) but the specimens are now lost,
and mentions two at Riverstone in 1907. He does not accept any other
Morris, McGill & Holmes 1981 (Handlist of Birds
in New South Wales) mentions the North records only and no other.
As far as I recall the John Hobbs record at
Comerong Island 12-13 June 1986 was never published with description even though
it would have been the first record for NSW in 80 years!
As all other parrots regularly escape their cages
and Orange-bellied Parrots are not unknown in collections, I would find it hard
to accept that there are any reliable records for NSW (acknowledging that the
jury is still out on the very recent Laughtondale birds).
So on what basis the Scientific Committee (if
reported correctly) can accept the bird for NSW other than a vagrant and or
escapee seems strange to me.
NSWFOC Records Officer