This is a follow-up to a recent post regarding a banded Eastern Yellow Robin nesting at the Rise and Shine. The bird featured in that post was one of several banded at the site by a team of researchers from Monash University. It was banded on the 31st May this year – when I made my original observation the unique colour combination obvious in the image below was not visible as I could only see the left leg.
Their work is part of an ongoing study into the evolutionary biology of the Eastern Yellow Robin that has revealed two distinct genetic lineages occur on either side of the Great Dividing Range – the two lineages appear to have evolved to cope with differing climatic environments, one essentially arid adapted and the other to wetter landscapes. The area around Newstead is in the general zone where the two forms are thought to potentially co-exist … further proof that we are at the centre of things!
Further reading (if you’re brave!): Perched at the mito-nuclear crossroads: divergent mitochondrial lineages correlate with environment in the face of ongoing nuclear gene flow in an Australian bird. Pavlova A, Amos JN, Joseph L, Loynes K, Austin JJ, Keogh JS, Stone GN, Nicholls JA, Sunnucks P. Evolution, Volume 67 (12): 3412-28. doi: 10.1111/evo.12107. Epub 2013 Apr 9.