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
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 http://birdingwa.iinet.net.au
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :
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