North Queensland Naturalist
North Queensland Naturalist 48 (2018): 46-53
Mixed-Species Foraging Flocks of birds in rainforest at Kuranda, Queensland
Gary W. Wilson and Robyn F. Wilson
Thirty Mixed-Species Foraging Flocks (MSFFs) of birds were observed in rainforest at Kuranda, Queensland in the period January 2013 through June 2015. The flocks comprised Nuclear, Regular and Occasional Attendants comprising four, eleven and five species respectively. The Nuclear species, Spectacled Monarch Symposiachrus trivirgatus and Pied Monarch Arses kaupi (Monarchidae), Fairy Gerygone Gerygone palpebrosa and Large-billed Scrubwren Sericornis magnirostris (Acanthizidae), were insectivores less than 20 g in weight; one or more of these was present in every MSFF observed. The mean number of species in flocks was 6.93±2.24 SD (range 2–11). More flocks were observed in the Dry Season (n=24) than the Wet Season (n=6). Equal numbers of flocks were observed in the morning and afternoon but none after 1700 hours. The findings are compared with those from other studies in the region and opportunities for further studies of MSFFs in the Australian tropics are discussed.