Historical note on Red Goshawk

Sightings of local rarities (those asterisked on the club's official Species List and any species not listed. That includes Paradise Parrots!!!) Post your non-local rare or unusual sightings here too.

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Rod Hobson
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:03 am

Historical note on Red Goshawk

Post by Rod Hobson » Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:40 am

Folks,

I've just finished reading one of the classics of Australian natural history, ethnology and exploration, " Among Cannibals " by the Norwegian adventurer Carl Lumholtz, published by John Murray, Albemarle Street, London (1889). Towards the end of the book Lumholtz recounts his visit to Coomooboolaroo Station near Duariga, central Queensland in 1883. This station was then owned by George Barnard (1831?- 1894). The Barnard family were all keen naturalists and Lumholtz was particularly impressed by the sons who, bare-footed, ".. were able to seize with their hands, while running, one beetle after another that came flying past."

In the same chapter (XXVIII) he also states, somewhat casually, "One day the rare hawk variety Astur radiatus was shot near the station while it was consuming a white cockatoo it had caught. The nest found close bye in the top of a high Moreton Bay ash, resembled the nests of other hawks, and contained two eggs, of a dirty white colour, with a few irregular light brown marks (length 2 5/16 inches, breadth 1 15/16 inch)."

Astur radiatus is now known as Erythrotriorchis radiatus - the Scarlet Pimpernel of Australian raptors, the Red Goshawk.

Regards,
Rod Hobson

Michael Wood
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:50 am

Coomooboolaroo Station

Post by Michael Wood » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:09 am

Gooday Rod and others.

This is quite a coincidence, for I have just finished reading a report on the paradise parrot by a pHD student and Coomooboolaroo gets a mention as a property where the bird had reportedly been seen around the turn of the 20th century. Are they mentioned in your report, Rod?
Michael Wood

Rod Hobson
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:03 am

Paradise Parrot at Coomooboolaroo

Post by Rod Hobson » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:49 am

Michael,

Lumholtz does mention seeing Paradise Parrot at Coomooboolaroo during his stay there in 1883. He doesn't mention if he collected these particular birds, however.

Earlier in "Among Cannibals" he mentions shooting a pair of these parrots in central Queensland, near Comet if my memory serves me correctly.

On Paradise Parrots, the late Pat Walker, my natural history mentor from my childhood, used to tell me of Paradise Parrots being around Murphys Creek near Toowoomba 'before the war'. Pat was talking of WW1. I wished I had taken more notice of some of the dates and places Pat mentioned, as I have recollections of his telling me of Grass Owl breeding at Lake Clarendon, Black-throated Finch common in the Lockyer, and a Red Goshawk shot near Murphys Creek and strung on a barbed wire fence. Pat was a good friend of Earle Lord who is quite an historical figure in Australian ornithology and who had recorded Red Goshawk breeding on his property at Murphy's Creek in the early 1950's. This was the last reliable nesting record for this raptor in SEQ.

Regards,
Rod Hobson

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