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Cisticola, Levaillant's

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby adrianp » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:57 pm

I'd say:

#3 Cisticola, yes, Levaillant's, as it has a black back and rufus crown

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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Rookie » Tue May 15, 2012 9:18 pm

I was in Addo at the end of April and saw a number of LBJs which I would like help with.

I did manage to ID some of the birds, but the LBjs just drive me mad. :twisted:

Cisticola
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Thanks guys!!
Last edited by Rookie on Thu May 17, 2012 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby adrianp » Wed May 16, 2012 10:28 pm

Another cisticola I'm thinking grey backed, or Levaillant's.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Roan » Wed May 16, 2012 11:04 pm

Levaillant's Cisticola (Lots of black on the back).
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby adrianp » Thu May 17, 2012 9:14 am

I considered both Levaillant's and grey backed cisticola. If it was Levaillant's, the extensive grey on black feather edging could be due to feather wear, (the bird should moult soon). But I went for grey backed, because Levaillants should have more rufus on the neck, and the tips of the tail are black, rather than uniform brown as in grey backed. I'm not 100% convinced on what is right here, and I would be quite happy for some of the experts to chip in. I was also influenced by the type of vegetation that the bird was found in, which is more typical for gray backed, although Levaillant's can wander far from water.

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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:29 am

I too have a growing collection of 'unknown cisticolas' :wall: — to which these may be added. I try and try to distinguish between greybacked and Levaillant's cisticolas and invariably get them wrong, so .... Is this Levaillant's? See along Darling Hills Road on 31 May 2012.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:44 am

arks wrote:I too have a growing collection of 'unknown cisticolas' :wall: — to which these may be added. I try and try to distinguish between greybacked and Levaillant's cisticolas and invariably get them wrong, so .... Are these (which may or my not be the same bird) Levaillant's? See along Darling Hills Road on 31 May 2012.


I don't think it's the same bird, arks, but it is pix of the same species. :wink: Why did you pick Levailant's? How would you distinguish GBC from LC considering the features you can see in your pics (plain rufous crown, Buff-brown margins to black mantle feathers, rufous wing panel and even tail shape and length?)
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:54 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:
arks wrote:I too have a growing collection of 'unknown cisticolas' :wall: — to which these may be added. I try and try to distinguish between greybacked and Levaillant's cisticolas and invariably get them wrong, so .... Are these (which may or my not be the same bird) Levaillant's? See along Darling Hills Road on 31 May 2012.

I don't think it's the same bird, arks, but it is pix of the same species. :wink: Why did you pick Levailant's? How would you distinguish GBC from LC considering the features you can see in your pics (plain rufous crown, Buff-brown margins to black mantle feathers, rufous wing panel and even tail shape and length?)

Thanks, Johan. I think that my field guide (Newman) doesn't tell me enough detail :roll: Perhaps that's why I invariably get it wrong? :wall: I thought that these birds had backs that are more black than grey and my book shows the Levaillant's as have a more solidly clear rufous head than the greybacked ... and I don't see any noticable difference on the Newman's drawings in the tail length and the rufous on the wings.

(OK, so may be I need a new/better field guide?)
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:15 pm

arks wrote:
Johan van Rensburg wrote:
arks wrote:I too have a growing collection of 'unknown cisticolas' :wall: — to which these may be added. I try and try to distinguish between greybacked and Levaillant's cisticolas and invariably get them wrong, so .... Are these (which may or my not be the same bird) Levaillant's? See along Darling Hills Road on 31 May 2012.

I don't think it's the same bird, arks, but it is pix of the same species. :wink: Why did you pick Levailant's? How would you distinguish GBC from LC considering the features you can see in your pics (plain rufous crown, Buff-brown margins to black mantle feathers, rufous wing panel and even tail shape and length?)

Thanks, Johan. I think that my field guide (Newman) doesn't tell me enough detail :roll: Perhaps that's why I invariably get it wrong? :wall: I thought that these birds had backs that are more black than grey and my book shows the Levaillant's as have a more solidly clear rufous head than the greybacked ... and I don't see any noticable difference on the Newman's drawings in the tail length and the rufous on the wings.

(OK, so may be I need a new/better field guide?)



Nothing wrong with Newman's ... its illustrations of these two species are spot-on. All of the features I mention above are shown there. I'm just not sure if my cryptic answer had the desired outcome namely to have you go back (to your NEWMAN's) and compare the two cisticolas, then re-evaluate your (originally correct) ID based on these clues/tips!

The idea was for you to make the ID based on those features, then you shouldn't battle again in future when you encountre these specific birds seeing that you will understand and know those points on which you can base a correct ID everytime.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:14 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:
arks wrote:
Johan van Rensburg wrote:
arks wrote:I too have a growing collection of 'unknown cisticolas' :wall: — to which these may be added. I try and try to distinguish between greybacked and Levaillant's cisticolas and invariably get them wrong, so .... Are these (which may or my not be the same bird) Levaillant's? See along Darling Hills Road on 31 May 2012.

I don't think it's the same bird, arks, but it is pix of the same species. :wink: Why did you pick Levailant's? How would you distinguish GBC from LC considering the features you can see in your pics (plain rufous crown, Buff-brown margins to black mantle feathers, rufous wing panel and even tail shape and length?)

Thanks, Johan. I think that my field guide (Newman) doesn't tell me enough detail :roll: Perhaps that's why I invariably get it wrong? :wall: I thought that these birds had backs that are more black than grey and my book shows the Levaillant's as have a more solidly clear rufous head than the greybacked ... and I don't see any noticable difference on the Newman's drawings in the tail length and the rufous on the wings.

(OK, so may be I need a new/better field guide?)

Nothing wrong with Newman's ... its illustrations of these two species are spot-on. All of the features I mention above are shown there. I'm just not sure if my cryptic answer had the desired outcome namely to have you go back (to your NEWMAN's) and compare the two cisticolas, then re-evaluate your (originally correct) ID based on these clues/tips!

The idea was for you to make the ID based on those features, then you shouldn't battle again in future when you encountre these specific birds seeing that you will understand and know those points on which you can base a correct ID everytime.

You mean I've finally got it right?!? :dance: It's just that I'm SO lacking in confidence when I try to ID cisticolas, and in the past I had often/usually gotten it wrong. So glad to understand now that I am finally making some progress .... :whistle: :wink:

Thanks, Johan, for never making it easy, that's the best way for me to learn! :tongue: :thumbs_up:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:12 pm

arks wrote:You mean I've finally got it right?!? :dance: It's just that I'm SO lacking in confidence when I try to ID cisticolas, and in the past I had often/usually gotten it wrong. So glad to understand now that I am finally making some progress .... :whistle: :wink:

Thanks, Johan, for never making it easy, that's the best way for me to learn! :tongue: :thumbs_up:


So, does that mean the end of grey-backed/Levailant's cisticola conundrums from your neck-o'-the-wood? :hmz:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:00 am

Johan van Rensburg wrote:
arks wrote:You mean I've finally got it right?!? :dance: It's just that I'm SO lacking in confidence when I try to ID cisticolas, and in the past I had often/usually gotten it wrong. So glad to understand now that I am finally making some progress .... :whistle: :wink:

Thanks, Johan, for never making it easy, that's the best way for me to learn! :tongue: :thumbs_up:

So, does that mean the end of grey-backed/Levailant's cisticola conundrums from your neck-o'-the-wood? :hmz:

:lol: I've actually been posting fewer and fewer cisticola ID queries, but sometimes I'm (still) just not 100% sure :redface: and need reassurance :wink:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Gilbertr14 » Wed May 29, 2013 10:44 pm

Hi Guys need confirmations on these two

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby arks » Thu May 30, 2013 2:26 am

Can you please tell us where and when you saw these two birds? That will help a good deal with any IDs.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Gilbertr14 » Thu May 30, 2013 7:05 am

These where both shot at Paarl Sewerage Works


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