August Meeting

Wed 10 August 2022 07:30pm

Steve Wallace - HANZAB Online – what’s different to the books.
Philip Veerman - On the naming of the Australian Sarus Crane

The August meeting will again be a normal face-to-face one held at our usual venue, but as school virus rules for after-hours public meetings in school premises remain unchanged (see under Events on you will again need to wear a mask and also check in using the Check in CBR QR code, as noted in the COG COVID Safety Plan available on the COG web site (COG-CGGS-Checklist-COVID-19_09Mar22.pdf (


The short presentation will be by Steve Wallace on “HANZAB Online – what’s different to the books.”

While the soon to be launched online version of HANZAB is mostly the content in the books, there are differences.  Some new information is being added, some of the information is being updated and there are improvements to make the information easier to read.  So, what does it look like and what are these changes?


The main speaker will be Philip Veerman presenting On the naming of the Australian Sarus Crane

The established story is that, even though it is a big and obvious bird, strangely the Sarus Crane was first found wild in Australia as late as 1966 and not identified until later, and that this was first published in 1969.  However, even that bit is not quite right.  It is likely it had not been picked as separate from the Brolga until then.  Initially it was believed to be a recent vagrant.  Philip will try to clarify this twisted history, from the known and the obscure records.  He will consider evidence bearing on whether indigenous Australians already knew that the species was here.  He will also revisit the story of how the Australian population of the Sarus Crane was named as a separate subspecies and how Canberra Bird Notes fits into the story.  He will tell the strange story of the Australian captive zoo population of the species, and discuss generic nomenclature, including the transfer from genus Grus to Antigone.  This history has three separate yet intertwined stories, one at each of the genus, species and subspecies level, which is surely a very strange situation in one bird.  Philip will also summarise current knowledge, fix some errors and add new historical information, particularly about the people involved.

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