Sunday, July 10, 2016

WA Museum specimens showing an external difference between male and female WGPs

 The photos were taken in December 2005, when the Western Australian Museum had only four Western Ground Parrot specimens.

The photos below were taken with permission from the WA Museum and are being published here with permission. No unauthorized use of the images is permitted.

Three of the specimens are shown here. The fourth lacks his head. All came from the south coast. From L to R: a juvenile female that was a casualty of a radio-tracking project in the Fitzgerald River National Park (well east of Albany) in 1988; a bird shot in Torbay (west of Albany) 1906 in mistake for a quail; an adult female killed by a vehicle on Springdale Road east of Fitzgerald River National Park in 1995. Although the central specimen was unsexed, a difference can be noted in the beaks. Further study of beaks of specimens from the Australian Museum and Museum of Victoria showed that the Torbay bird was a male.

Beaks of two of the specimens viewed from above showing the broad upper mandible ridge of the Torbay bird (top), and the sharper, narrower ridge of the Springhill bird. The Torbay specimen was used for display for many years.

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