Pied Oystercatcher vs SIPO

To: "Paul Dodd" <>, "'Mike Carter'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Pied Oystercatcher vs SIPO
From: "Greg & Val Clancy" <>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 11:41:00 +1100
Hi Paul, Mike,

Having had the pleasure (and luck!!) to be with Bo Totterman when he found
the first SIPO for mainland Australia I have studied this issue closely.  I
agree with Mike that it is an OZPO.  The short tarsus however can be
misleading as I observed a PO with a short tarsus at Merimbula in October
and was most excited.  However when the bird flew it had the white on the
wings and back typical of an OZPO.  The bill of this bird was longer and
narrower than the typical OZPO as well.  It was either an unusual OZPO or
possibly a hybrid.   My Merimbula sighting only underscores the need to see
all of the distinctive characters as I would have called it a SIPO on the
basis of tarsus length, bill length and generally dumpy appearance.

I would also be interested in the details, photos etc. of the other
Australian records of SIPOs other than the first ones at South Ballina.
There was one reported by a friend of mine at Angourie NSW but from the two
photos that I saw I believe that it was a short legged OZPO.   Was there one
or more from southern Queensland?


Greg Clancy

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