well said Lloyd, I fully agree with everything here that you have said...
does anyone know if anybody will be doing some DNA work on lurida soon??
> Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 16:42:23 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Boobooks in Australia
> John Penhallurick wrote:
> "This was one of the most ridiculous splits in Koenig and Weick's 2nd edn of
> the Owls of the World. The race lurida responds readily to vocalisations of
> Southern Boobook."
> John, I think everyone of us who lives in the Wet Tropics and knows both
> Boobooks well would completely disagree with that statement. They were
> split many years ago ("Red Boobook Owl" was listed as a species in the
> RAOU 1926 Checklist as it was in the old Cayley's What Bird is That?)
> and then ridiculously lumped, I think by G.F. Mees in the 1960s? In the
> wild, they are VERY different birds (species) – one a small, pint-sized
> rainforest bird – the other a larger open forest bird. Often, all that
> separates them physically is the edge of the rainforest – and there
> appears to be no hybridisation – at least none that we can find.
> In their own habitats, you can also fairly easily pick a difference in
> the voice. And more importantly they have different habits as well as
> different appearances. The noticeable thing when one first sees lurida
> is its tiny size, its lack of "goggles", the spotting, the greenish eye
> colour. Go outside the rainforest and you will, if you are lucky, find a
> normal sized boobook with "goggles", heavy striations (ocellata) on the
> underparts, different eye colour and so on. These open forest races
> (ocellata and boobook) are mostly rather rare in the areas surrounding
> the Wet Tropics rainforest – lurida is fairly plentiful within it.
> I cannot see that because lurida will respond to a call of other
> boobooks, that this is criteria which supports them being a single
> species. How would one know that a responding lurida is not challenging
> a bird/species it regards as an intruder or competitor? I once played
> the call of a Red Goshawk on the Mitchell River in north Queensland in
> several different spots along the river. Though I never got a Red
> Goshawk to respond, I got quite a few Pied Currawongs at each spot to
> come bolting in and respond - very aggressively. This is an extreme
> example I know but it can happen.
> Having guided (birding groups/tours) for almost 20 years from the 1980s
> until the early 2000s, I found a number of species will respond to the
> call of another species for different reasons – Large-billed to Mangrove
> Gerygone readily comes to mind, Leaden and Satin Flycatchers etc. At
> times, I have played calls of fairy-wrens, or honeyeaters etc and have a
> butcherbird respond (seeing them as prey). And so on.
> In summary, lurida deserves species ranking without delay.
> Lloyd Nielsen,
> Mt Molloy, (Wet Tropics), Nth Qld
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