Correction; are you confused?

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Correction; are you confused?
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 20:53:09 +1000
Hi all,

In trying to correct an error I made in a statement in a recent posting I
seem to have caused some confusion.

Let me try to explain..........

I made the following statement:
"I am also wondering if there really is two sub-species or are there simply
'clines' in the Sooty Oyc species similar to that with the Varied Sittella?
If there are two sub-species and they interbreed in the 'border zone', how
do we label the offspring?"

That statement was made in the context of a discussion about how to identify
each of the two recognised races/sub-species of Sooty Oystercatcher and the
mistaken belief (due to a faulty memory) that there is one species of Varied
Sittella the various forms of which constitute a cline.

There, of course, is only one species of Varied Sittella and the various
forms are races/sub-species not a cline.
In an effort to correct my original error (well not my ORIGINAL error; that
probably happened when I decided to not go back after emerging from the womb
and having a good look around)  I wrote:
"There is no 'cline' in the Sittella species. What I was thinking about
(without bothering to check my facts) was that when I started into
birdwatching there was a whole bunch of species of Sittella recognised in
Australia. Subsequently those species have been lumped into one species with
a number of sub-species."

My use of the word 'species' in my original (and erroneous) statement has
apparently caused some confusion in that it was not certain if I was
indicating a singular or plural context in each of its appearances. It is a
problem word and a writer's nightmare but there doesn't seem to be an

Maybe what I should have written is "I am wondering if the single species
[singular] of
Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus) really does contain two (and
only two) races/sub-species [plural], i.e., H. f. fuliginosus and H. f.
or is it the case that the single species [singular] of Sooty Oystercatcher
fuliginous) contains no races/sub-species [plural] but the various forms,
e.g., the
differences in eye-ring colour and bill shape and length, are an indication
of a cline in that species [singular] as is the case with the Varied
(Daphoenositta chrysoptera) which consists of a single species [singular] in
which a
cline has resulted in a number of visually different forms."

Either way the statement in question was incorrect in its reference to Varied Sittella and a cline in that species.
At least I think it was incorrect.


Bob Inglis


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