Black-Tailed Native-hen irruption

To: Bob Forsyth <>
Subject: Black-Tailed Native-hen irruption
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 15:47:25 +1100
The recent postings from Bill Jolly and Bob Forsyth raise
some questions about the value of our local wildlife
sightings (on the NE of Port Phillip Bay) for sensing
unusual bird movements.

For instance, BTNHs have turned up twice since I began
living in suburban Melbourne. In August 1985 (the first
Bayside record) and in August 2001 when there was a bird on
the Brighton Golf Course. I posted something about it on
Birding-Aus and subsequently there have been many reports of

Last year we had many dead and dying S-t Shearwaters, the
year before a record of Red-kneed Dotterels etc.  

Look at other records and you will perhaps see the value of
statistical "outliers" [no my friend Gamblin, I did not
write "outliars"] as at least raising hypotheses.  I suspect
we suburbanites are quite sophisticated sensors of changes
out there in bushland and other habitats.

Any offers to study this - or (as outliers) to help
supervise some of those students who come every year asking
for project ideas ?

Michael Norris
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife
Hampton, Melbourne
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