I will have to take more notice next time I see a Little Bronze-Cuckoo here
in northern NSW but I was of the impression that our birds had a large
amount of rufous on the undertail.
Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
From: martin cachard
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 11:55 PM
To: phil gregory ; birding-aus threads
Subject: Splits 1
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 & females....
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!!
0428 782 808
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