The Lesser Sooty Owl and Sooty Owl?

To: <>,"martin cachard" <>, "birding-aus threads" <>
Subject: The Lesser Sooty Owl and Sooty Owl?
From: "John Harris" <>
Date: Wed, 04 May 2011 11:01:13 +1000
Hi All, 
as Martin mentions, he keeps sub-species lists also in the off chance
that one day they might be upgraded to a "tickable" full species.
My only problem with that is, apart from maps in Simpson and Day, where
else can I find a list of all Australian sub-species and their
approximate distributions??
Bring back the Lesser Sooty Owl!! My life list dropped with its lumping

Yours in all things "green"


John Harris
Manager, Environment and Sustainability
Donvale Christian College
155 Tindals Rd Donvale 3111
03 9844 2471  Ext 217
0409 090 955

President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (FNCV)
Past President, Victorian Association for Environmental Education
>>> martin cachard <> 4/05/2011 10:39 AM >>>

Hi Patrick

When you come up to FNQ & hopefully observe the local Lesser Sooty Owl,
you can't  'officially' count it as a new species tick (unless of
course, you are yet to see a Sooty Owl further south!!).

BUT, this 'lumping' by C&B 2008 is strongly disputed by many, including
many of us up here more familiar with this bird in the field than some

So Patrick,  come up here, find & enjoy the bird, record that you've
observed it, & in time,  I'm sure that you will find that this local
bird will be split again from the Sooty Owl & given the full species
recognition it deserves. Some of us up here are currently working on
this to be rectified....but there is much work still to be done on this
one....(amongst some other lumps/splits of FNQ birds).

As for further answers to your questions about what is tickable (or
not) due to a species' status, I'm sure someone else more qualified than
me can help to explain this to you. 

But for my own records list, I just make sure what birds I observe are
recorded to sub-species level - changes in the taxonomy of our birds, &
accordingly our official list (whatever the source of it), will continue
to occur. For now, I keep my records as per the current C&B species list
as it is defined in 2008 because this is the current official species
list, like/agree with it or not. I can update my full species list as
the changes to the official list occur since I have a record of the
sub-species I have seen & where. I think you will find that most Aust
birders do the same thing or similar.

Someone else I'm certain, will add a better & more scientific
explanation about your other questions - I,  for now, just wanted to put
my gripe out there about the poor lumping of Lesser Sooty Owl on behalf
of several other dismayed local FNQ birders !!

Obviously Patrick, as it stands now I haven't got a Lesser Sooty Owl on
my species list - just 2 sub-species/races of Sooty Owl....


Martin Cachard
0428 782 808

> Date: Wed, 4 May 2011 09:11:11 +1000
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] The Lesser Sooty Owl and Sooty Owl?
> Hi All,
> After reading Sean Dooley's reply to Paul, I have been trying to
figure out
> what happened with the Christidis and Boles list with regards to the
> Sooty Owl. In the guide books they are a different size and live in
> different parts of the country, so why is the Lesser Sooty Owl no
> counted as a separate species? Does this mean that if I am lucky
enough to
> see the owl formally known as the Lesser Sooty Owl on the Atherton
> Tableland that I will be seeing the Sooty Owl? Can someone please
> this to me or at least if it makes no sense to others then, what is
> official explanation? And I have been trying to figure out the
> term. C & D still have some species as separate (tickable) but as
> conspecific. Are they saying that as with the Western Wattlebird and
> Wattlebird that at some stage millions of years ago they were one
> Thanks,
> Patrick Scully
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