Kudos to the photographer who took the photos of the girls at Berry Springs. It is a wonderful picture. Not only is it a great shot of the girls but also the waterfall, rocks, trees, foilage, and roots.
I had two 8 X 10 photo copies made and intend to frame them. We will keep one and give the other to our daughter, Vickie, who is Kelly’s mom
The photo could be properly titled as: “Memories of Berry Springs in the Land of Oz”.
Great to see the last two posts, one on culture and one on wildlife. Interesting perspectives from two writers on the same visit. Both were educational and interesting. Keep them coming!
Has the crew stumbled upon something that is unique or am I just barking up a tree?
The RBFWs the crew has encountered so far have been significantly smaller than other wrens reported in Australia. You noted that according to Jordan, the size is normally about 8 grams. You note that those that you folks are encountering are only about 6 grams. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is a huge difference when one is talking about such a small critter. That works out to be 25% less than normal or the normal size is approximately 33% larger.
Since the crew has limited access and time on the Internet to do research, I took it upon myself to take a stab at it. I found that there are apparently three different varieties of RBFWs in Oz, all separated by geographical areas as a result of events that occurred many years ago. They all average the same weights. If anyone is interested, I will be glad to send them or post the URL of the scientific paper I used.
Is it possible that the crew has encountered a different group of wrens that became separated by geographical events as well?
Could Jordan, John, or others please weigh in on this? An inquiring mind would like to know.
The wrens here are the subspecies Malurus melanocephalus cruentatus (with crimson backs) compared to the M. m. melanocephalus (with orange backs). Our guys are indeed lighter than the Queensland wrens (most of ours are 6 or 7 grams), and we will compare morphological measurements with researchers from the Atherton Tablelands and Brisbane upon returning to the states. The weight difference may also be partly due to the time of year or the condition of the birds.
Sam, many thanks for your reply. I would be very interested in what you find out when your measurements are compared with other researchers. Would you be good enough to let me, or Kelly, know? Alo any further thoughts you may have on this. I am just a curious sort!
I want to take this opportunity to thank the professors who had the idea, and did the preparations, for this project. And to NSF for funding it. I also want to thank Sam, the onsite coordinator for the Fellows who afforded them with a lot of knowledge and varied experiences. I am sure that this experience will benefit the Fellows in their future endeavors.
I followed the blogs with interest as well as the emails with Kelly. So I got a good idea of the project, accommodations, etc. All very interesting and educational for me.
After reading Kelly’s Field Research Report I became more convinced that this project was a success on many fronts. I suspect the you will receive valuations at least equal to, or exceeding, Kelly’s review.
I look forward to further information as the project proceeds.
Again, thanks to all involved.
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