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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
I saw this Cisticola in Wakkerstroom the other day, one of the small aerial Cisticolas. It did not call to give me any further clues. Any ideas as to ID?

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Cheers

Niall.


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Eish Niall, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to ID this bird. You don't have any more pictures showing the upper tail or rump perhaps? Or any other pictures just to give us more of a feel for the bird.

The tail appears to be on the longer end of the spectrum for short-tailed Cisticolas which leads me to wonder if it could be non-breeding Pale-crowned (which is what I suspect you want this bird to be).

Like I say, I probably won't be able to ID this bird but here are my comments on the candidates in case it is of any help:

Cloud Cisticola: I think this is the first one that can be ruled out. Your bird's tail is much too long which is already enough to rule out Cloud but the crown also appears to be streaked and the undersides are not white enough.

Wing-snapping Cisticola: Can probably be ruled out for similar reasons than Cloud. The tail is too long, even for a non-breeding Wing-snapping (of which the tails can be a bit longer).

Zitting Cisticola: I can't quite rule out Zitting but the bird doesn't give me a Zitting feel. The tail doesn't seem to be dark enough and the sides not washed yellow-buff enough. If it is a Zitting it certainly isn't a breeding Zitting but I'd be surprised if this is a Zitting at all.

Desert Cisticola: Could be but I would have liked to see more of the tail.

Pale-crowned Cisticola: Definitely not a breeding Pale-crowned (lacks the black facial features and the crown seems to be streaked) but I could be easily convinced that this is a non-breeding or perhaps even more likely a juvenile Pale-crowned Cisticola. The edging to the upperwing feathers seem to be quite broad and the mottled appearance to the face doesn't look like an adult bird but I'm getting into very dubious terrain here.

So maybe I'll just leave it with that and have you figure out the rest but if you come back and concur that the bird must be a sub-adult Pale-crowned Cisticola, just don't forget to give me the credit :D

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"Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel." -Homer Simpson


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:58 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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This is as good as it gets I'm afraid:

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Image


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:58 am 
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In light of this new evidence, displaying a profound absence of a bright rufous rump, Your Honour, the prosecution moves to retract its earlier statement, without prejudice, of the defendant, the bird in question, and having been discussed thus far, being a sub-adult Pale-crowned Cisticola, in lieu of a revised and more informed statement that the bird in question, and having been discussed thus far is more apt to be a Desert Cisticola, referring back to the caveat lector in its previous statement of the identification of Desert Cisticola being encumbered by the non-disclosure of the defendant's tail and rump features.

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"Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel." -Homer Simpson


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