Rushworth and Chestnut-rumped Heathwren eye colour

To: "Rotamah Island Bird Observatory" <>, <>
Subject: Rushworth and Chestnut-rumped Heathwren eye colour
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 19:32:44 +1000
Hello Craig,

You've raised an interesting question as to whether immature Chestnut-rumped Hylacolas (I like Hylacola better than Heathwren!) have dark eyes. I briefly observed an immature CRH near Awaba (west of Newcastle, NSW) in December 1997 that I noted having no striations on the chest and a very dull eyebrow. Its identification was made easier by its being with its presumed parents. Unfortunately I didn't note the colour of its eye. From memory I think that it had a dark eye. Generally speaking, young birds do have darker eyes than older birds (at least finches do!). I've had a quick scan of a few books and I can't find any mention of eye colour in immatures. I've just started a little study on hylacolas in my spare time. If I get the chance I'll take a closer look at immature birds (probably not until later in the year). Does anybody else know anything about CRH eye colour?- I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who does.

Not having much experience with Victoria I've no idea about Shy Heathwren distribution but I know that both hylacolas are supposed to be in the Bendigo area although separated by habitat choice. If you get the chance check out a couple of great little articles by Eddy (1959) and Ryan (1979) on both Hylacola species in the Bendigo area and their complete separation by habitat. Going by my map Rushworth is about 60 km east of Bendigo?

What is the habitat at Rushworth? Whatever the bird was it sounds like a great spot.


Mick Todd

Michael Todd
Toronto, NSW, Australia

R. J. Eddy. Heath Wrens in Central Victoria. Australian Bird Watcher 1 (2), 1959. J. V. Ryan. Nearly forty years with Hylacola spp. Australian Bird Watcher 8 (2):42-50, 1979.

At 02:00 PM 30/03/01 +1000, Rotamah Island Bird Observatory wrote:
has anyone else encountered this species in this area? The above mentioned characters led to believe that it was not a Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, do immature C-r H's have a dark eye, I guess

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