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Warbler, African reed-

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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josey
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Warbler: African Reed

Unread postby josey » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:05 pm

Please ID this bird for me:

Tala, near Pietermaritzburg. In the reeds next to a dam. Taken in March
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:42 pm

African Reed Warbler, slope of head, lack of broad eyebrow and due to habitat. :D

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Johan van Rensburg
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Warbler, African reed-

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:51 am

The African reed-warbler, Acrocephalus baeticatus, is a common, summer breeding inter-African migrant to South Africa. The first birds arrive in August, with the main mass of breeding birds arriving in September. After breeding, numbers drop off gradually with most birds having departed by the last week of April. Some juveniles over-winter.

We netted one in my garden this weekend.

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The African Reed Warbler is the smallest of the reed-warblers found here. A note-worthy feature is that the soles of the birds feet are yellow, something not mentioned in field guides. It has a noticeably flattened forehead and our bird only weighed 10 grams. The length of the primary wing feathers (in this case, well short of the rump) is a major ID-feature. From the picture, the worn state of the birds’ feathers can be seen, indicative that it has just arrived from its long journey from somewhere up north.

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Generally this warbler breeds monogamously. Some instances have been observed where unrelated males participate in the brooding and feeding of nestlings, suggesting that a polyandrous breeding system is sometimes used, probably in high predation areas. Warblers build a deep basket nest from strips of reed blades, grass and sedges, which is lined with finer grasses and placed in the densest reed patches available in their territory. The clutch consists of two to four white eggs.

The African Reed Warbler is usually seen alone or in pairs, moving through vegetation and clambering up and down plant stems. It eats insects and other small invertebrates.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:07 pm

Please help me ID this warbler. I saw him today at Marievale in front of the Hadeda hide in the reeds ( and in the open, drinking water)
I were able to take photos from these 2 from all sides. No wonder they say "silence" in the birdhides - because these two came out in the open the moment the buzz in the hide calmed down.
I think it might be a AFrican Reed Warbler: It is smallish, has a white eyebrow, supercillum, but not as prominent as in the Lesser swamp warbler.
Also the primary wings seem short to me, which would fit the ARW.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:44 pm

Yolandé Oelsen wrote:Please help me ID this warbler. I saw him today at Marievale in front of the Hadeda hide in the reeds ( and in the open, drinking water)
I were able to take photos from these 2 from all sides. No wonder they say "silence" in the birdhides - because these two came out in the open the moment the buzz in the hide calmed down.
I think it might be a AFrican Reed Warbler: It is smallish, has a white eyebrow, supercillum, but not as prominent as in the Lesser swamp warbler.
Also the primary wings seem short to me, which would fit the ARW.


ID is spot-on, Yolandé!
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Yolandé Oelsen
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:44 pm

Thanks JvR! :thumbs_up:
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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Ferdelance » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:44 pm

Hi everyone. I got 2 warblers on Saturday morning whilst sitting in the Hadeda hide, at Marievale. I have an idea what they are but I just can't come to an excact conclusion. If they are unclear then I will leave them for a better view sometime in the future. Thanks for the help.....

Lesser swamp warbler maybe? :whistle:
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African Reed Warbler?????? :hmz:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:02 pm

#1 and #2 are both African reed-warblers. A lesser swamp warbler has a well difined white eye brow.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Ferdelance » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:20 pm

Thank you JvR. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Cherries » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:12 pm

Oh those warblers....

This guy has had so many names even he has turned his back on me in disgust! :wall:

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Great Reed-Warbler?? Wakkerstroom last weekend!
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Croc Bridge - 6 April 2012
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:20 pm

Cherries wrote: Oh those warblers....

This guy has had so many names even he has turned his back on me in disgust! :wall:

Great Reed-Warbler?? Wakkerstroom last weekend!


Nothing "great" about this bird, Jackie. :lol: And you can stop the name-calling-thing that so disgusted the li'l fellah... It is the same bird as #1 in my previous post. Great reed-warbler is a BIG bird...
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Cherries » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:46 pm

Many thanks Johan :clap: :clap:

He is still "great" to me - African Reed-Warbler is a new tick! :wink: :wink:

I must remember to check for size comparison in future.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:52 am

Cherries wrote: He is still "great" to me - African Reed-Warbler is a new tick! :wink: :wink:

I must remember to check for size comparison in future.


Size is not all that matters.

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This is a great reed-warbler that we ringed at Baberspan. Note the size ... :lol: It really is a big bird. But if you look beyond that; the bill is the heaviest of all the warblers. It also has a well-defined pale (not white) eyebrow.

Good advice about IDing warblers (actually all LBJs) is to take time to listen to its call. That makes the ID so much easier!
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Cherries » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:47 am

Thank you Sir! I always seem to get the silent ones!!!

I clicked on your large version and this bird has such a pretty face.

Now will you please add great reed-warbler to the list of birds. (In your spare time, of course!!

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Croc Bridge - 6 April 2012
Berg en Dal - 7&8 April 2012

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Rookie » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:41 pm

I recently visited Intaka island in Cape Town and came across some bird that I would like and ID or confirmation on:

This little one was flitting amongst the reeds so not a very good photo. It appears to have a very short tail, but that might just be the angle of the photo.

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I only have a very old Ian Sinclair's field guide with photos that are not great and a Sasol guide, so am a bit limited in identifying the different birds based on eye, beak or leg colour or juvenilles, so thanks for all your help.
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