Blue Jays & the decline of the BFCS.

To: <>
Subject: Blue Jays & the decline of the BFCS.
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 18:49:23 +1000
Yes Blue Jay is a colloquial name for Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.
It is quite possible that the bird is the last one left. If the statement is taken in context of the local scene. Going by Canberra, not that far from Wodonga in northern Victoria most of the Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike leave Canberra for the winter, so it is quite possible this person only has one left in their vicinity. The other bit is that the species is in decline in total. Here is an extract from my 2003 book "Canberra Birds: A Report on the first 21 years of the Garden Bird Survey" that illustrates the point Note that Year 1 is 1981-82:

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae

A woodland inhabitant that is apparently a partial migrant. It is present throughout the year but in lower numbers in winter than summer. Its monthly pattern when all years are combined is quite symmetrical. Numbers are low from May to August, and peak in October and March. There is a small dip between October and March when some of the birds go a bit out of the suburbs to breed. This is clearly evident on most individual year’s results but does not always occur in the same months. So when all years are combined, it evens out a lot, to show up as a broad warmer months' peak with a slight dip in the middle. Long-term there has been a strong suggestion of decline in abundance. It was exceptionally common in Year 1 through most sites. Since then it has undulated a bit but the general trend, especially for the last 11 years is of a decrease. Breeding records could be on the decline but this is not definitive, were highest in Year 1 (even relative to records of the species). There are a small number of early one-off dependent young observations from late September to October these are hard to explain. Mostly breeding records have activities at nest from about mid November to early January and dependent young from December to the last of them by mid April. The only duration available for a breeding event suggests 14 weeks.
Graphs on page: 102, Rank: 13, Breeding Rank: 15, Breeding graph on page: 107, A = 0.55151, F = 93.49%, W = 51.9, R = 34.961%, G = 1.58.

-----Original Message-----From: <>
To: Date: Tuesday, 22 June 2004 15:05 Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Blue Jays?

Am after some collective advice from list members.

I've just received one of our 'customer call centre' requests asking about
Blue Jays.  The observer claims the bird is the last one left (!) and
spends it day trying to find conspecifics.  The caller lives in Wodonga in
northern Victoria.

My question is, what is (in Australia) a Blue Jay?  A corvid?

If it is a corvid they are of course not threatened, but am interested to
know how birdos would respond to this sort of query (which seems genuine).

Please advise me directly.
Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Department of Sustainability and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde. (PO Box 500), East Melbourne  3002

Tel: 9412 4567  Fax: 9412 4586
(prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)
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