Friday, August 14, 2015

Nestlings from the vicinity of Wongan Hills

These specimens, numbers 1844.2.15.96 and 97 are part of the Natural History Museum (NHM) collection. The NHM is a large section of the British Museum and is located separately. The specimens were part of the John Gould Collection. They must have been donated to the British Museum prior to the sale of the bulk of Gould's Australian collection which was sold to a Dr Wilson for Drexel University's Academy of Science, Philadephia in 1847. The registration numbers indicate that these specimens became part of the British Museum collection in 1844.

It has not been known who collected the nestlings. A likely possibility has been John Gilbert as he was in Western Australia in 1839/1840 and 1842/1843. He is known to have travelled to the Wongan Hills area in the spring of 1842 and 1843. The party included Aboriginals and members of the Drummond family who were local settlers, and all good bushmen. No record of the nestling collection has been found but it is known that some letters from Gilbert to Gould were lost. (See next posting "Nestling labels" for more on this.)

A previous blog posting dated 13 December 2013 and entitled "Wongan Hills - Ground Parrots were there" includes part of an article by Julian Ford in which the nestlings are discussed.

The images below are both copyright Natural History Museum

The upper nestling in the Heads photo appears by upper mandible shape to be a female, and the lower one a male, but this has not been verified in any other way. 
Images above .Copyright Natural History Museum

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