Emus and Pines and YTBCs

To: Harry Nyström <>
Subject: Emus and Pines and YTBCs
From: Allan Richardson <>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2015 12:56:10 +0000
HI Harry,

Superb Lyrebirds and Bassian Thrush like pine forests for the earthworms under 
the litter.



> On 5 Aug 2015, at 8:16 pm, Harry Nyström <> wrote:
> Hello from Finland, where pines are aplenty.
> I hope other non-Australian readers, such as Wim Vader from Norway, will
> contribute more as I will surely forget something.
> Indeed, Capercaillie eats pine sprouts, which is an important food source
> especially during winters. With pines I mainly mean Scots pine, *Pinus
> sylvestris*. Other notable species in pine forests are Crossbills,
> especially Parrot Crossbills, which use their plier-like beaks to open pine
> cones to get to the seeds. Other Crossbills use also pine (although they
> might prefer other conifers), so it is not exclusive to Parrot CBs. Some
> tits, like the European Crested Tit and Siberian Tit are common in pine
> forests and mainly nest in that habitat. European Nightjar is also a
> typical open pine forest species in Southern Finland during Summers (the
> nights seem to be too bright for it in Northern Finland). Common Redstart
> is also a typical pine forest species, although is typically also seen in
> gardens. And where there are Redstarts, there are also Common Cuckoos.
> Several insectivores use young pines to hunt for e.g. spiders. Pines are
> also typical for marshes and bogs, which function as a birthplace for
> millions of mosquitoes, and they form a significant food for several small
> passerines, such as Goldcrests and Willow Warblers. Nevertheless, the
> biodiversity of pure heath-type dry pine forests is quite poor. Pine cones
> are important food also to Red Squirrels. Lastly I have to add that planted
> Macedonian Pines (*Pinus peuce*) and Swiss Pines (*Pinus cembra*) are an
> important food source for Eurasian Nutcrackers.
> Spruce forests, on the other hand, have usually different kinds of birds
> ranging from Great Grey and Ural Owls to Three-toed Woodpeckers, Goshawks,
> Willow Grouse, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers (they use the seeds in the cones
> for food), Chiffchaffs, Wrens, Red Crossbills etc. On the Eastern border
> and in Northern Finland there are also some nice species like Red-flanked
> Bluetail, Pine Grosbeak, Two-barred Crossbill, Siberian Jay etc. Also,
> Goldcrests are far more common in spruce than pine forests.
> Otherwise, the forests are typically a mix of trees, not solely something.
> Of course the main component might be pines in many forests, especially on
> drier heath land, but there are also some birches, spruces, rowans and
> alders when the ground gets a bit more moist.
> When I was in Orange, New South Wales in 2012, we saw a Swamp Wallaby in a
> planted pine forest and also several White-throated Treecreepers singing on
> the edges of the forests. Also, one Eastern Rosella flew into one.
> Otherwise they looked like too dense (i.e. too close to each other) and
> biodiversity-wise too poor (no understorey etc.) for abundant wildlife in
> my Finnish pine forest point-of-view.
> Cheers,
> -Harry
> 2015-08-05 7:30 GMT+03:00 brian fleming <>:
>> I believe boreal conifer forests in Northern Hemisphere have a
>> considerable bird fauna.  According to the books, the huge grouse species
>> the Capercaillie eats pine sprouts. Time to open a European field guide.
>> Anthea Fleming
>> On 5/08/2015 2:15 PM, Roger Giller wrote:
>>> What is the situation in the northern hemisphere, with their very
>>> extensive
>>> natural pine forests? Are they as sterile as our plantations of introduced
>>> pines are, with low species diversity and numbers, or have the birds
>>> co-evolved with the pines?
>>> Roger Giller.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf
>>> Of
>>> Greg and Val Clancy
>>> Sent: Wednesday, 5 August 2015 11:41 AM
>>> To: brian fleming; Peter Shute; 
>>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Emus and Pines and YTBCs
>>> I have observed Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos feeding on fallen Macadamia
>>> and Pecan Nuts on the ground in South Grafton but his is unusual.
>>> We must not forget that no matter how much bird habitat introduced pines
>>> provide, and this would appear to be very limited, they are no substitute
>>> for the local natural vegetation.
>>> Regards
>>> Greg
>>> Dr Greg. P. Clancy
>>> Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
>>> | PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
>>> | 02 6649 3153 | 0429 601 960
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: brian fleming
>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 10:19 AM
>>> To: Peter Shute ; 
>>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Emus and Pines and YTBCs
>>> Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos love seeds from pine-cones.  When/Pinus
>>>> radiata/  plantations first became mature and FCV workers wanted to
>>>> collect seed for more plantings, they found YTBCs were attacking the
>>>> cones
>>>> and threatened to start shooting them.  Then they found that 1)the
>>>> cockies
>>>> tended to drop the cones after eating a few seeds from the tops, and 2)
>>>> the cockies were much better judges of the ripeness of the seeds than the
>>>> men were.  So the men picked up the fallen, slightly bitten coneas and
>>>> everyone was happy.
>>>       I notice that cones found under the local trees seem to have been
>>> completely chewed to pieces, but the culprits are Sulphur-crested
>>> Cockatoos which will feed on the ground. I have never seen YTBCs on the
>>> ground
>>> Anthea Fleming
>>> .
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