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Dispersal, Mimicry, and Geographic Variation in Northern Melanesian Birds

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Title: Dispersal, Mimicry, and Geographic Variation in Northern Melanesian Birds
Authors: Diamond, Jared
Issue Date: Jan 2002
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Diamond J. 2002. Dispersal, mimicry, and geographic variation in northern Melanesian birds. Pac Sci 56(1): 1-22.
Abstract: I present new information about 34 of the 195 resident land and
freshwater bird species of Northern Melanesia, an area characterized by a rich
avifauna, high endemism, and great geographic variation in morphology. There
are many examples of geographic variation in voice, behavior, habitat preference,
altitudinal range, vertical stratum, abundance, and nest. Possible vocal
convergence or mimicry between sympatric populations of different species is
described between the goshawk Accipiter albogularis and the kingfisher Halcyon
chloris, between the cuckoo-shrike Coracina [tenuirostris] and other species in its
mixed-species foraging flocks, between the white-eyes Zosterops murphyi and
Z. rendovae kulambangrae, and between the starlings Aplonis grandis and Mino
dumontii. Hybridization is reported between the Bismarck and New Guinea
races of the cuckoo Eudynamys scolopacea on Long Island (described as a new
subspecies), between the whistlers Pachycephala pectoralis and P. melanura, and
between the honey-eaters Myzomela tristrami and M. cardinalis. Cyclones bring
Australian species, some of which occasionally remain to breed. Over-water
dispersal ability varies greatly, from species that can be seen flying over water
any day to species that rarely or never cross water. For instance, a channel 12 km
long and only 0.15-1 km wide divides Florida Island into two halves, one of
which possesses and the other of which lacks a resident population of the coucal
Centropus milo.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 56, Number 1, 2002

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