Mixed feeding groups

To: "" <>
Subject: Mixed feeding groups
From: "" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 21:45:58 +0000
Hi all,
I and colleagues published a paper on mixed flocks in Australian tropical 
savannah in 2012:
It touches upon which, if any, species is leading mixed flocks, but is more 
concerned with species composition. There is certainly a "type" of MF that has 
woodswallows apparently leading it. There is also a type that has spangled 
drongos strongly involved. There are references within it to African bird 
parties, including those involving African drongos.

Sent from my iPad

On 15 Mar 2016, at 3:51 PM, Sonja Ross 
<<>> wrote:


I was interested to find out possibilities, and what people thought.

It wasn't intended as a joke.  From the way Dave spoke, it seems that one
species does usually lead in the part of England where he lives.  The
leader of the group obviously accepted it as a serious question, and gave
us a species for the area we were in in Sri Lanka.  He obviously listened
for the calls of that species to lead the group to a particular section of
the forest.

Unfortunately there is no punch line!


On 15 March 2016 at 15:53, Philip Veerman 
<<>> wrote:

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
Sonja Ross
Sent: Monday, 14 March 2016 7:18 PM
To: <>
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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