Fwd: Report on SW Western Australia birding - Repost

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Fwd: Report on SW Western Australia birding - Repost
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 10:24:46 +1100

Begin forwarded message:

From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: 13 March 2007 11:49:00 PM
Subject: Re: Report on SW Western Australia birding - Repost

The birding-aus filter got me again. Don't know why this time as I posted it straight. So here it is again ......

Bob Inglis and Laurie Knight have commented on Peter Marsh's report.

1. A new edition of Christidis & Boles is in preparation and according to Walter Boles a few weeks ago it is very close to being sent to the printers. I can see the email storm already for birding-aus .... It may need another hard drive for the archive server :-) I don't know whether it will be published by RAOU (Birds Australia), CSIRO or Australian Museum.

2. My understanding of Little/Western/Brush Wattlebirds. Originally it was just Little Wattlebird. Then it was decided to split the western race (I think this has unamimous agreement now??? based on eye colour, some plumage differences, calls, DNA, etc). The type specimen was thought to be the WA race, so the eastern was changed to Brush Wattlebird, and the western left as Little Wattlebird. At least this is what quite a few of the field guides guessed at before HANZAB was released. The type specimen was then found to have been from the eastern states (from memory about 25 years earlier), so the more sensible change was to make it Western Wattlebird for WA, and leave it as Little Wattlebird for the east. So yes, you can quite confidently expect that this change will be picked up in the C&B update (since C and B were on the HANZAB taxonomic committee). But if you are keeping a list total (e.g. on Tony Palliser's web site), the only single reference that makes sense is the original 1994 C&B. So Western Wattlebird is one for the bank.

I thought we used to have Little and Brush Wattlebirds, and that the two were lumped into Little ...


On Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at 07:10  PM, Robert Inglis wrote:

In his report on a trip to SW Western Australia Peter Marsh said:

"The possible split Little Wattlebird was also first seen here." (Bickley Brook Reservoir)

I think we can safely say that the split has taken place if we can accept the entries for Little and Western Wattlebird in HANZAB*. The Western Wattlebird is recognised as occurring in SW Western Australia and Little Wattlebird occurs in the east.

Some editions of some Australian field guides are not quite accurate on the distributions of these species. And it is about time there was an update to the RAOU monograph "The Taxonomy and Species of Birds of Australia and its Territories".

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694              Email : 

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