Splits 1

To: phil gregory <>, birding-aus threads <>
Subject: Splits 1
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 23:55:21 +1100
Hi Phil,

Just touching on the bronze-cuckoos....

I think that some of the cofusion between Gould's russatus & Little minutilus 
stems from the winter visiting migratory Little barnardi, well at least around 
here in Cairns on the lowlands anyway... not to mention young birds & 

barnardi visits here from around May-June til about August, when they 
presumably head back down to se Qld/ne NSW to breed - the males appear very 
similar to same of Little minutilus to me, with rather greenish dorsal surface 
& no rufous in outer tail at all on the underside...

I think that many adult female & immature Gould's russatus combined with 
visiting Little barnardi of both sexes (& probably immatures of barnadi as 
well) confuses many observers up this way, including me at times!!
I feel that any bird with a lot of rufous in the outer undertail is most likely 
going to be a good Gould's russatus, & any birds with no rufous there would 
likely be a visiting Little barnardi.
To many, these 2 different species/races would appear to look like 
& that's just here around the Cairns lowlands... !!

What makes it even more complex as an ID issue, is when you start to get out of 
the local loiwlands here into the tablelands & further north (& south) where 
Little minutilus occur side by side with Gould's russatus & quite probably some 
visiting Little barnardi as well in winter!!!

Much work needs to be done on this species complex... my strong feeling is that 
none interbreed & at least Gould's russatus will be re-instated as the full 
species away from Little that I believe it to be...

Well, that's my 5 cents worth to throw into this conundrum!!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Martin Cachard
0428 782 808


> From: 
> Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 14:58:15 +1000
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Splits 1
> I flagged Yellow-rumped Pardalote as a possibility but I don't know how much 
> intergradation occurs, I seem to recall this is why it got subsumed.
> The Bronze-Cuckoos are a problem, I note that the subspecies russatus ( 
> Gould's) was subsumed into poecilurus by Payne. Interestingly the new and 
> generally excellent Cuckoos of the World by Errotzoe et al again splits them. 
> The problem for me is that in New Guinea I can't see anything that looks like 
> Gould's of Far N Queensland, they all look much like Little and I've seen 
> them in the Sepik, the far west of PNG and around Port Moresby. I also can't 
> distinguish the trill songs or the alarm call, so I am not aware of vocal 
> differences personally.
> There do seem to be a lot of intermediate type things up around Cairns and 
> the Tableands, though here at Black Mt Road i only see Gould's, as you might 
> expect in the rainforest proper. I know they are meant to parasitize 
> different hosts, but I have no records of host species from New Guinea which 
> might help clarify things. The Cuckoos book gives Little as a migrant to NG 
> and Gould's as the resident, but  I am unable to distinguish them from my own 
> observations up there thus far. I basically just ducked it and went with the 
> IOC and Clements decision to lump them into Little. I'm happy to be proven 
> wrong. The latest findings again suggest using Chalcites for our Chrysococcyx 
> and confining that genus to the African ones.
> Cheers
> Phil
> Email: 
> Website 1: Http://
> Website 2: Http://
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