Noisy Pitta Migrant

To: "VickiPS" <>
Subject: Noisy Pitta Migrant
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 08:26:27 +1000
At 01:17 11/04/2001 -0000, you wrote:
>An exciting sighting yesterday (9 April).  I got a phone call from my nephew
>who lives a few kms away, to say there was an unusual bird just outside the
>bedroom window.  He described it in thorough detail as I grew more
>incredulous by the minute; he said he'd consulted his father's field guide
>and concluded it could only be one thing.  Utterly convinced he was taking
>the mickey in a major way, I jumped in the car and tore over.  There it
>was -- a noisy pitta in my sister's backyard at suburban Woodend, Ipswich,
>Queensland.  The location is a few hundred metres south of the flying fox
>colony, and only a kilometre from the CBD.
>Not only was it a great thrill to see this beautiful bird in totally
>unexpected surroundings, but it was also a lifer for me.  After years of
>failed attempts to spot one of the little beggars in their usual haunts, I
>still don't know whether to laugh or cry.  Anyway, whoopee!
>Vicki PS
Hi Vicki

Congrats on seeing a Noisy Pitta at Woodend.

I've been trying to keep tabs on them in Brisbane Forest Park over
the past ten years and can give a bit of info to fill in your sighting.

They seem to be partial migrants. Partial in the sense that some, but not all 
the population migrates to the coast in winter.  In Brisbane Forest Park, west
of Brisbane, I have records of NP throughout the year, every year, and there
are similar records from Toowomba and from the first Atlas.  In winter they
only call,
once or twice, at dawn and at dusk and so they are much harder to detect but
are present in their forest haunts.

However, in March/April there is a definite movement down to the coast. Just
your record there are similar reports from Brisbane suburbs and even Post Office
Square in the centre of Brisbane.  This also coincides with their arrival in
coastal localities, including Peel Island and other islands, where they are
in winter but not every year.

The same pattern occurs in northern NSW where Totterman (1999) Aus Bird Watcher
18:19-25 did a very neat study of their numbers in the Richmond Valley.
Very high
densities of NP were found in lowland forest remnants in winter.  Unfortunately
much of this habitat has been lost to development.

They are wonderful birds to see - I hope yours stays for a while.



Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy             
School of Veterinary Science.             Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland              Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072             WWW  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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