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YELLOWHAMMER (Emberiza citrinella)
Biodiversity > Birds > Rare visitors and vagrants

Vagrant. One positive record. One seen by John Cunningham near the summit of Mount Eliza on 18 August 1949 (Hindwood & Cunningham 1950). No description of the bird was given in the paper concerned and as it is the first record of this species for an Australian territory, it is worth noting the exact details as given in a letter from Cunningham to Hindwood:

‘At the top of Mt Eliza was surprised to flush a male Yellowhammer. Did not see his front, but he sat with his back [to me] for quite a while. I noted the yellow head, brown stripes on back & chestnut rump. I know them in N.Z. well, & assume there is no Aust. species corresponding to the appearance of the back of this bird. Its “chip” call also corresponds’ (K.A. Hindwood papers, ML).


Hindwood & Cunningham (1950) also gave details of other possible sightings of the species. One of these sightings, of some birds seen by Max Nicholls in late 1949, may involve the individual seen by Cunningham. This species was introduced into New Zealand in the 1860s, and there is little doubt the birds recorded on Lord Howe Island originated there (OSNZ 1990; Williams 1953).

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