White-backed Magpie in Sydney]

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: White-backed Magpie in Sydney]
From: "John Leonard" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 21:19:00 +1100
Contra Schodde and others, there is a theory that the Magpie is simply a very variable species and only has clinial variation. The white-back/black-back variation in this theory is a response to habitat, with the more robust white-backs in thicker vegetation, where a white back is a useful signal through the foliage. The less robust black-backed forms are birds of woodland and more open country.

I can't remember the biologist who has put this theory forward, is it Angela Carter?

John L

On 2/21/06, Ricki Coughlan <> wrote:
Hi Chris
You'll find it in the 7th edition of Simpson and Day.
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