Mixed feeding groups

To: 'Sonja Ross' <>, "" <>
Subject: Mixed feeding groups
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 04:53:20 +0000
A curious question not because it might not happen but because there are so
many possibilities. Where I am in Canberra this is well known as a big
feature of the bird behaviour of the cool months. Typically thornbills,
whistlers, fantails, silvereyes, I don't know how you would pick a leader
species, as they sort of move as a mass. Is the leader consistent? Is it
based on the species or on individuals. As in do all the members of one
species move then all the members of another species. I doubt it.

For a start I wonder whether this "Obviously it happens in Britain that one
species must lead." is intended as a joke that this be obvious and what is
the punch line.


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Sonja Ross
Sent: Monday, 14 March 2016 7:18 PM
Subject: Mixed feeding groups

I've just been on a birding trip to Sri Lanka (and thoroughly recommend
it). Four of the group were British, and one asked our leader about the
bird species leading feeding parties i.e. which species did this? Obviously
it happens in Britain that one species must lead. When I was out today, I
came across a couple of mixed groups and wondered, does any species lead
such groups in Australia, and are they different in different areas, such
as honeyeaters in Vic, but Figbirds in Qld.?

I'd be interested to hear what others think as I hadn't thought about it
before Dave asked!



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