Dusky Wood-swallow John Gould
Dusky Wood-swallow by John Gould.

In 1902, the journal Emu published an article by A. W. R. Vroland, on birds found around Strathbogie. The list is one of the earliest snapshots we have of the bird fauna in the Ranges. As well as many of the more familiar names, it also includes the birds ‘Brown Kingfisher’, ‘Grey Crow-shrike’, ‘White-throated Thickhead’ and ‘Striated Tit’!

White-throated Thickhead
White-throated Thickhead, or Golden Whistler

The White-throated Thickhead is our own Golden Whistler. In fact, all the whistlers were called ‘Thick-heads’ – no idea why! This image is from ‘Bird painting of a ‘White Throated Thickhead (pachycephala gutturalis)’ by Alfred May (1862-1948) Tasmania’. You can find out more about this Thickhead and Alfred May at UTas eprints.

Back to Vroland’s 1902 list … Though the list clearly is not comprehensive, it does give us a peek into which birds occurred in these parts a century ago and how some of the common names have changed. For more up-to-date list, have a look at the bird list contained in: Flora & fauna of the Seven Creeks Catchment (2.3 MB).

To gain an understanding of how our bird fauna is changing, SNAP!, the Strathbogie Nature Atlas Project, is collecting local bird lists (and lists of other fauna) from farms and properties in the district. If you’d like to know more, click here. If you know of other historic lists of flora or fauna, please leave a comment.