More on Cape York Subspecies and Rarities

To: "" <>
Subject: More on Cape York Subspecies and Rarities
From: "calyptorhynchus ." <>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 08:32:46 +0000
"And of course the juvenile is completely different, black not green."

Juvenile Crimsons in SE Qld are also non-green.

John Leonard

On 18 February 2016 at 19:23, Martin Cake <> wrote:

> Hi Lloyd et al
> A very stimulating thread, thanks. We were in Cape York and the Wet
> Tropics recently and I agree on a lot of your comments. The Cape York form
> of Graceful Honeyeater has a completely different call that took us quite a
> while to work out what it even was. In the dawn chorus call it gave a call
> more like Green-backed that fooled us numerous times. And yes the tick call
> was only occasional. One thing I noticed as a casual observation was that
> birds out in the heaths near Portland Rd gave the tick call more frequently
> than the same birds in the Iron Range rainforest.
> The Red Boobook also sounded different to me, slightly deeper and slower
> and with a slightly buzzing or scratchy quality. But then I’m used to WA
> birds.
> The Tropical Rosella split will surely be borne out in the near future,
> for the genetics see Shipham et al (2015. Molecular Phylogenetics and
> Evolution 91:150-159. The genetics in this paper shows nigrescens is more
> distantly related to other Crimson than Green Rosella is. This creates
> paraphyly which can only be resolved by lumping Green Rosella (unlikely as
> it has a wide mitochondrial ND2 separation) or splitting Tropical. The
> authors were cagey in their conclusions suggesting more work is underway
> already to nail the split. Looking at pictures one of the key differences
> to me (not noted in books?) is a patch of black feathers (or skin??) around
> the eye of many but not all birds making it look like a pirate (‘Pirate
> Rosella’?). It also looks in photos at least to have a more robust bill
> perhaps. And of course the juvenile is completely different, black not
> green.
> Incidentally the same paper included a limited comparison of your adscitus
> versus palliceps Pale-headeds and didn’t note anything for these subspecies
> beyond the general closeness and rather recent separation of Pale-headed
> and Northern Rosella.
> On the kingfisher, I agree this sounds different but one thing that has to
> be taken into account are the species limits within what is/was the large
> ‘Collared’ super-species group. Not sure if you have seen, the genetics
> have been done recently by Andersen et al (available free at
> ). This
> included one specimen of colcloughi and four of sordidus so a pretty small
> sample (but none of WA’s ‘pilbara'). A supplementary doc on the species
> limits (which I now cannot find on the website for some reason) stated
> "Further sampling is recommended to better understand the phylogeographic
> history of these forms in Australia”. In the phylogenetic tree colcloughi
> is basal, but just eyeballing the branch lengths it doesn’t look any more
> different from sordidus than the four samples of sordidus are from each
> other. From limited evidence (literally one specimen) this perhaps suggests
> the genetics wouldn’t support a split especially against the background of
> such a divergent superspecies radiation. But don’t give up birding just yet!
> Hope I haven’t bored you with genetics talk but just wanted to point out a
> few recent papers on these.
> Cheers
> Martin
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John Leonard

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