Grey-crowned (Red-breasted) Babbler in SA.

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Subject: Grey-crowned (Red-breasted) Babbler in SA.
From: Ian May <>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 10:43:33 +0930
G'Day All

The recent posting from Tony Russell raised an interesting subject about the status of the Grey-crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis in SA.

In "A Handlist of the Birds of South Australia" by H.T Condon,  published by the South Australian Ornithological Association in 1968;

"Condon wrote

Pomatostomus temporalis intermedius (Mathews) 1912 (444b).
Red-breasted Babbler of Cayley (1958)
Common; mainly along timbered watercourses.   A Northern Territory form which enters northern South Australia south to about Hamilton Bore and near Oodnadatta.   Ref . : Deignan, Emu, 50, 1950, p. 17-21; Condon (1951); Mees (1961); Storr (1967, p. 42)."

Based on many sightings made while living and working in the area for more than 20 years, I observed nothing that should alter Condon's 1968 "common" assessment of this species.      Within their preferred habitat, this "Red-breasted" form of the Grey-crowned Babbler now known as Pomatostomus temporalis rubeculus is still abundant in northern and north-western South Australia.   They are distributed along many of the Coolibah watercourses and also extend into the more prominent Red Mulga (Mineritchie) creeks too north and north-west of Oodnadatta.

The status in SA of the northern form of the Grey-crowned Babbler at present should be regarded as a common resident in suitable habitat.

Condon regarded the other sub-species Pomatostomus temporalis temporalis  as uncommon and declining in the south-east of SA. and I am unsure about the current status of this form now.


Ian May

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