From what I remember in the Sri Lankan jungle the Jungle Babblers were
the noisy ones, and whether they lead or not may be debatable, but they
do disturb insects that other birds then can prey on. So the guide will
try and find the feeding party by focusing on the noise of one species.
They also appeared to partition the strata with drongos at the top and
small babblers at the bottom.
In Australia I think that the parties sort of partition the strata for
hunting as well as more eyes are there for predators.
On 15/03/2016 4:48 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
>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] 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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