Is this Superb or Variegated fairy-wrens

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fongling18
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Is this Superb or Variegated fairy-wrens

Hi, I shoot this photo in my backyard located north of Melbourne. Wonder if this Superb Fairy-Wrens. Thank you.

zosterops
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Superb Fairy-wren. He might look a tad bit different as he is moulting out his breeding plumage. 

Variegated F-w is not found in Melbourne. 

Lachlan
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Superb Fairy wrens are the only Fairy Wrens found in Melbourne, as Zosterops said. However, you do get Varigated Fairy Wrens in the Lower Murray and Mallee areas. So you're no too far off! smiley

Woko
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With climate change in full swing I'm expecting to see an increase sightings outside normal ranges. Eyes open & ears peeled or vice versa, folks.

zosterops
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Good point. 

In recent years the Koel has expanded its range into eastern Victoria to around Melbourne, not sure it's a purely climatically-induced phenomenon, i suspect it also perhaps coincides with the maturing of widely planted Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) in the suburbs.

20 years ago the Crested Pigeon did not exist in my region, now it's one of the commonest local resident birds.    

fongling18
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Zosterops, thank you.

Woko
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I think the expansion of the ranges of the Crested Pigeon & Little Corella is closely related to the expansion of grain growing areas. That said, the two species would also be advantaged by the increasing dryness of the southern part of Australia which accords with human-induced climate modelling.

Araminta
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Haha, they must have also taken the "Pakenham" trainwink. Where I live they hang around the station , the same area the drug dealer are.

M-L

Woko
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Are the Crested Pigeons courier pigeons at the Pakenham station, Araminta?

zosterops
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I also read that the Crested Pigeon was favoured by its ability to adapt to introduced weed seeds, relying on Paterson's Curse (Echium plantagineum) for example in many areas, and likely the range expansion of the bird is perhaps correlated with the spread of the weeds (facilitated of course by the said clearing of heavier native vegetation). 

Woko
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An interesting notion, zosterops. We used to have lots of Patterson's Curse (or Salvation Jane as it's called in SA) but I never saw Crested Pigeons or any other bird species feeding on the seeds. The Crested Pigeons feed mainly under the many Acacias we have, presumably on the seeds, & on the fruits of Ruby Saltbush Enchylaena tomentosa. But I wouldn't be surprised if Crested Pigeons have adapted to at least some introduced grass seeds since their numbers have increased in less arid parts of SA & the availability of native grass seeds has declined markedly, at least in SA where it's estimated only about 2% of the original native grasslands have survived.

zosterops
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Source: Reader's digest Complete book of australian birds... states that at least in inland NSW the most important foodplant is Paterson's curse, comprising 1/3 the diet and implies that ability of the bird to adapt to exotic seeds has at least in part allowed the bird to spread.

Here (Melbourne outskirts) I've noticed the CP's tend to congregate on sport ovals and open fields in the urban landscape, presumably feeding mainly on the seeds of exotic grasses and weedy herbaceous plants (rationale being native grasses are a very much a scarcity there). Interestingly they appear to be able to seemingly instantly appear wherever lawns are seeded.    

On a similar theme the local Long-billed Corellas apparently feed mainly on Romulea rosea, a South African native bulbous plant. 

The 2% remaining native grassland in your area is more than my local (estimated <1%). A rather sad state of affairs. 

Woko
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Sad indeed, zosterops.

Perhaps the Crested Pigeons at my place have other preferred food sources such as the Acacia seeds & native grass seeds & so steer clear of the Patterson's Curse.

I don't know why I didn't think of it: of course, Crested Pigeons are now reknown for feeding on ovals.

Little Corellas, too, feed on Romulea. I rely on them to keep it under control!

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