Bowerbird Mimicry

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Bowerbird Mimicry
From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 11:56:09 +1000

As a kid I heard a Great Bowerbird mimicking an old treadle sewing machine. The following story comes from my father and concerns his parents, "As best as I remember: Jack was doing the delicate task in the Torridon yard of poisoning rosellas as fox bait. He heard the "Maxwell" whistle sign "Come here!" and answered by calling to Anne.
Anne was slow to come to the window to answer, and denied calling Jack.
Jack resumed his task, and the above scene was repeated, with increased frustration. Sometime later (perhaps 10 days) Jack was drenching sheep in the yards. He heard a bird-call in the tree in the middle of the yards, and took little interest. Then he heard from the tree the distinct sound of a stone being scraped on rock, falling onto a ledge and bouncing into water. This was repeated several times
Then there was another bird-call (I think a pied butcher bird)
Then from up the tree was the distinct sound of Eli Humphries calling his dogs, and the earnest barking of his dogs. (Eli lived 1.7 Km away, and the sound was as from that distance.)
Then it reverted to the pebble that it dropped down the well.
Jack asked Rod to check a certain mine-shaft, and there was marks of the bird having fun with the sound.
Jack forgave Anne for losing his temper.
Torridon in this story refers to a rural property on the Darling downs between Leburn and Karara

Alan Gillanders

Alan's Wildlife Tours
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Yungaburra 4884
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