To: <>
Subject: Bristlebirds.
From: "Andrew Stafford" <>
Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2007 18:27:56 +1000
Hi Phillip,

No one else has followed up your second email regarding your sighting at Fraser 
Island in 1968, so pardon me for doing so again.

On reading the description of your sighting I'm still inclined to suggest that 
maybe you saw a juvenile/immature Eastern Whipbird? The cocked tail and rounded 
wings certainly fit. So does the behaviour - the rustling in the leaf litter, 
the very loud call, and the charming description, "its strut made me feel that 
it was one of those old-fashioned wind-up tin toys".

Of course, Bristlebirds and Scrub-birds both have very loud voices too, but in 
all other respects there are problems. For a start is the fact you saw the bird 
at all. Scrub-birds and Bristlebirds are both extremely retiring by nature and 
both are capable of moving without making a sound (as anyone who's ever looked 
for Scrub-birds will attest). These birds don't strut, they skulk!

Also, both bristlebird and scrub-bird can be ruled out on both location and 
habitat preference. Scrub-birds are birds of upland subtropical rainforest, 
chiefly in areas of Antarctic Beech, not found north of the Border and 
MacPherson Ranges on the QLD/NSW border. Bristlebirds are a little closer - 
there's still a tiny remnant population of the northern race in the Conondale 
Ranges on the Sunshine Coast hinterland - but they too tend to be found on the 
higher slopes, in eucalypt woodland with a grassy understorey. Both habitat 
types are in short supply, and a long way from, Fraser Island!

1968 is going back a very long way and no doubt testing your memory, but if not 
the whipbird, is there a more likely option for what you may have seen?



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