Help needed with Silvereye research



I recently had a request for help with research on Silvereyes in Australia. If you are able to help, please contact Dominique directly at the email address at the bottom of the article.

Hello Fellow Australian Birders!

I need your help!

My name is Dominique, and I am a PhD student currently studying at the University of Melbourne. I am investigating how urban noise affects song learning, development and evolution within a native Australian bird species. The species I have chosen to focus on is the Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis). I have chosen the silvereye for a variety of reasons: it occurs commonly in both urban and rural environments, its behaviours (especially acoustic) have been well documented, and we have good knowledge regarding its genetics.

The first part of my project will involve travelling to various sites around Australia, capturing silvereyes for morphological and genetic analysis, releasing them, and recording the songs of individuals in that population.  I am using paired sites in order to compare urban vs rural birds, and I am hoping to cover a relatively large geographical range, in order to observe any geographical effects on song, as well as environmental. I will be staying in each place perhaps for a week or so doing data collection, before moving on.

Although there is good data available on the distribution of silvereyes in atlases, I need the help of birders across Australia (yes, that’s YOU!) to locate resident populations of silvereyes: areas where individuals might be able to be recorded and caught reliably.

I would like to specifically focus on the following areas: Southern Victoria, Southeastern South Australia, Eastern NSW, Tasmania, and Southeast Queensland. Therefore, I am asking if anyone knows of any silvereye populations that tend to hang out either in city parks, or rural areas.

If you have any knowledge that could help me with this project, or any further questions about my research, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would like to thank you in advance for your help, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Dominique Potvin