birding-aus Digest, Vol 61, Issue 34

To: "'Andrew Thelander'" <>
Subject: birding-aus Digest, Vol 61, Issue 34
From: "Greg Roberts" <>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 16:38:39 +1000

All of this points circumstantially but pointedly to the Topknots feeding on
camphor laurels. As with the White-headed Pigeons, these introduced pests
may in fact be in important part of their diet in this era of depleted



From: Andrew Thelander  
Sent: Sunday, 24 April 2011 4:27 PM
To: 'Greg Roberts'
Cc: 'Birding-aus'
Subject: birding-aus Digest, Vol 61, Issue 34


Hi Greg

I personally can't recall ever seeing Topknots feeding in camphor laurels
but that is most likely me not getting out birding enough! I suspect you are
right as the camphor laurels are fruiting and most of the figs I came across
yesterday weren't. Beside the tennis centre in Nambour, there is a huge
camphor laurel that fills with White-headed pigeons when in fruit. They were
there yesterday with the normal figbirds - the flock of topknots settled
into some eucalypts several hundred metres away. I was waiting for them to
fly in for a feed but they didn't. I postulate that their willingness to put
up with human activity in the vicinity depends a lot on how hungry they are.
I believe some turned up in an orchard in Tasmania and could be approached
very closely simply because they were ravenous. At times I have seen them in
a forest setting and they have been quite skittish. At other times, I have
been able to stand near the base of a tree and observe them feeding in it
(e.g. the famous Pigeonberry ash tree near Traveston).

Perhaps others may have some personal insights to share? Is camphor laurel a
food of preference for topknots or just something to fall back on until the
natives start fruiting? How approachable are topknots? Have they ever
visited a feeding table (like white-headed pigeons readily do)?





 On Behalf Of Greg Roberts
Sent: Sunday, 24 April 2011 1:01 PM
Subject: birding-aus Digest, Vol 61, Issue 34


Regarding Andrew's note about Topknot Pigeons. Over the past couple of weeks
I've seen unusually large numbers of Topknot Pigeons in the Sunshine Coast
lowlands, especially about the Maroochy River and its tributaries. I suspect
it has something to do with camphor laurel fruiting and would appreciate any
Also, last night I had great views of a Sooty Owl in the Mapleton Forest
Greg Roberts

""Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 19:35:39 +1000
From: "Andrew Thelander" <>
To: "'Birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Sunshine Coast birds
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"

Hi all

A tour through the Mt Mellum area of the Sunshine Coast hinterland today
resulted in some nice sightings including at least ten Barred cuckoo-shrikes
in a fruiting Ficus obliqua (my spies tell me there were double that number
in the tree just 2 weeks ago). Also observed a male Regent bowerbird feeding
in a Polyscias elegans. Other species seen included Grey goshawk, Emerald
dove, Catbird, King parrot, Brown cuckoo-dove, Varied triller and Chestnut
breasted manikins feeding young.""
Back in Nambour, there was a flock of 30 Topknot pigeons.



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