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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:36 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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For some or other reason it doesn't allow me to post the extra photo's! Rats man...
Ok I resized them and it looks like it is working now so here goes:
The photo below was of the GSP flying away from us in the estuary. One can see the "bulging wing bar on the upperwing." But once again a very difficult bird to be I.Ding....I am still lost a little! Lesson Learned.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Challenge #41 - Answers
Thanks for taking part everyone! 15 People entered answers with 4 getting 8/8!

#1- Cuckoo Finch Juv:
Almost everyone got this one right. The very short thick bill was the best clue here. The two tone beak is diagnostic for the Juv. birds.
Image


#2- Sharp-tailed Starling:
The red eye combined with a long wedge-shaped tail was the best clues to go on. An overall greenish starling.
Image

#3- Great Sparrow Female:
The rich rufous on the back and head with the pale buff eye stripe is characteristic. The Yellow-traoted Petronia doesn’t have the rich rufous on the back and a two tone bill.
Image

#4- Greater Blue-eared Starling Imm.:
Funning enough this one turned out to be a blocker!
The best clue on the pic is the hint of the dark ear patch running through the eye. Combine that with the blue coming through the dark grey undertone on the breast and up to the tail and bright yellow eye separate this one from Cape Glossy who has a greenish tone and no ear patch through the eye and from Black Bellied Starling, who has the dull black on the lower belly.
Image

#5- Common Redshank
The bright red legs and white trailing edges on the wing with the barred tail was the clues to go for. Ruff and Spotted Redshank lacks the white secondaries.
Image

#6- Pale-winged Starling:
The clues was the bright eye with the wingbar. Red-winged Starlings have dark eyes.
Image

#7- Black Coucal Juv.
Again almost everybody got this one! The Barring on the tail is typical for young birds, combined with the rufous barring on the back..
Image

#8- Greater Honeyguide Imm.Male
The pale under parts, white outer wing feathers and pink bill are diagnostic.
Image

Cheers
Lizet

Read more about:

1. Cuckoo Finch
2. Sharp-tailed Starling unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
3. Great Sparrow
4. Greater Blue-eared Starling
5. Common Redshank unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
6. Pale-winged Starling
7. Black Coucal
8. Greater Honeyguide


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:52 am 
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Hey fellow twitchers - I know this is not the right topic to post this, but since nobody can seem to help me with this birding question, I am putting it in here.

I have been twitching for many years and although serious listing was initially not for me, 2012 certainly got me going and my targets for 2013 are already set........won't tell you at what level, but its gonna take another 3 or 4 years to get to the big numbers!!!!
This now is where I need some guidance. We all understand that listing is based on personal honesty, integrity and all those nice values that most bird watchers share. I know that feral birds like the Indian Peafowl (Peacock) should be ticked from a real feral population like that on Robben Island, but what are the accepted "rules" for indigenous birds in captivity? Is it taboo to tick local birds if they are found in a zoo, or in a rehabilitation center........or even worse......does anybody tick roadkill? I would value your guidance."

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:13 am 
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Waterbuck,
The main rule for counting a new bird to your list is that it should be a free living/roaming/flying/breeding bird. The moment it's taken to a facility like a rehab centre or zoo etc.. it can't be counted as free living anymore and therefore not be "ticked". The same then counts for "roadkill".... :twisted:

The above rule also applies to escaped birds like waterfowl. They are not counted for as free breeding birds.

Cheers
Lizet


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:18 am 
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Hi All

I posted a question id on this thread last week
Here is the answer

This is a lark like bunting and the black on the neck confused almost everyone

This is what Johan van Rensburg had to say
ID points: Two-tone bill of elongated shape – longer and shallower in profile than canary
Facial pattern
Tan/brown breast and belly
The yellow gape is an indication that this is still a young bird

Image

Image

Read more about:

Lark-like Bunting

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2 July 2014 - Augrabies
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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:54 am 
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Challenge #43
A bit more difficult than #41 I hope!

#1
Image

#2
Image

#3
Image

#4
Image

#5
Image

#6
Image

#7
Image

#8
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Challenge #42 - Answers

Okiedokie, time for the answers to Challenge #42. I've received 14 entries with only one scoring a full house. The average score was 5.9/8 which is not bad methinks.

Image
#1 - Arrow-marked Babbler. This bird scored 14/14 (i.e. everybody got it right) so I guess little explanation needed on the ID features here.

Image
#2 - Sabota Lark. This bird scored 12/14. The only two incorrect answers were for African Pipit and Mountain Pipit. Pipits generally have sharper, more needle like, bills as opposed to the conical or decurved bills of larks. Also, larks generally have shorter legs with more scales than pipits. Of course, once the family is identified the process of identifying the species starts and in this case the boldly marked face with strong supercilium and the heavily marked breast are all pointers towards Sabota Lark.

Image
#3 - Shy Albatross. This bird also scored 12/14 and the only incorrect answers, unsurprisingly, were for Salvin's Albatross. The slightly confusing issue here is that this is a juvenile bird, of which the black tip to the bill is a key feature. Other important features include the neat narrow black border around the underwing with the black wing tips, the dark eyebrow and the grey wash to the neck.

Now Salvin's Albatross share some of these features but can still be told apart readily on closer scrutiny. Salvin's Albatross has an all grey head as opposed to this bird which shows a white face but a grey neck. Salvin's Albatross also has the narrow black border on the underwing but the primaries are all black while on Shy Albatross the primaries are grey at the base and shade to black at the tips. The visual effect of this is that the wing tips of Shy Albatross appear to shade from white to black while, on Salvin's Albatross, there is a sharp transition between the white coverts and black primaries.

Image
#4 - White-faced Whistling Duck. This bird also scored 14/14 so well done to all. It seems you don't need to see a white face or hear a whistle in order to tell a White-faced Whistling Duck :wink:

Image
#5 - Wood Sandpiper. This guy scored 11/14. If you thought it was a Yellow-billed Duck, we'll chalk that one down to the picture not showing the size well :D . If you thought it was a Spotted Redshank or a Common Whimbrel, you're closer to the truth. Both of those are interesting choices as they also show a speckled pattern on the feathers but the speckling of this bird, grey feathers with a narrow white border which is interrupted by brown bands, is typical of Wood Sandpiper. The unmarked flanks, darker crown and the hint of a white supercilium are also hints.

Image
#6 - Killdeer. WHAT?!?!?! I hear you ask. Yes, sorry, this is the stinker that I warned you about. If you got this one correct (and only 3 people did, well done Dabchick, Ladybirder and adrianp), serious bragging rights for you there. If you got it wrong, don't beat yourself up.

So, as you might have realised by now, this is not a southern African bird. It's a bird that migrates between North America and South America. Given its long distance migration and the fact that some of these are getting blown across the Atlantic to show up in Europe from time to time, one has to consider the possibility, however slim, of one showing up in southern Africa one day. It's the same mechanism by which Pectoral Sandpipers or Lesser Yellowlegs find their way here.

So the answers I received ranged from Common Ringed Plover to Three Banded Plover to Little Ringed Plover to Common Three-banded Little Ringed Plover to Photoshopped :D . Fortunately though, once you realise that this bird is not a southern African species and you start considering Plovers from the rest of the world, it doesn't pose too much of an identification challenge. The double breast bands, all black bill, white frons and supercilium and the pale rufous outer tail feathers are all features of this bird and you'd be unlikely to confuse it with anything else.

Image
#7 - Osprey. This bird proved rather difficult, which I thought surprising, and scored only 9/14. The underwing pattern of dark wing tips, dark carpal patches and a dark line running from the carpal patch along the greater coverts to the body is unique. You can memorise this underwing pattern as it will always be useful in the field. The dark stripe through the eye and across the face is also a good feature.

I expected to get a few answers for juvenile African Fish-Eagle which is often misidentified as Osprey but can be told apart by its broader wings, absence of black stripe through the face and a white tail with a black terminal band. None of you fell into that trap though. The common incorrect answer I received was for Lanner Falcon though, which has a very different facial pattern, also somewhat broader wings but not anything as rounded as Fish Eagle and, of course, does not have that underwing pattern of dark carpal patches, dark wing tips and dark band across the greater coverts.

Image
#8 - Dark Chanting Goshawk. I expected this bird to prove challenging and it scored 8/14. Obviously it's a juvenile and the two species with which it would most likely be confused are Gabar Goshawk or Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk.

Let's start with the easier one, Gabar Goshawk, the juvenile of which has a comparatively neat plumage. It has a belly with neat horizontal barring and breast and throat with neat vertical streaking. The barring and streaking is light brown on a predominantly white background. In comparison, this bird has more blotchy streaks down the throat and rather uneven barring on the belly, with not much of a white background visible.

So the tough one would be Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk and the available features to separate these two are few and subtle. Most of us rely primarily on distribution to separate these two species but in this challenge you didn't have that luxury. One entry even made mention of the fact that the texture of the tarred road in the foreground looked like Kruger (and he was absolutely right). Talk about keen identification skills but I'm not sure how diagnostic that is :lol:

At any rate, the streaking and barring on the undersides of the bird is still a feature to look for. On SPCG the barring on the belly is usually more blotched. It also shows less contrast between the colours of the undersides and the colours on the back. On this bird the undersides have a reddish brown barring while the uppersides is a chocolaty brown. On SPCG the uppersides are generally the same reddish brown colour of the undersides. This bird also shows a white throat which is present, but less conspicuous, in SPCG. The legs of this bird is also ever so slightly shorter than those of SPCG but that is not always apparent in the field and would probably only be noticeable if a SPCG were to be standing right next to this guy. I don't know about you guys but I haven't been that lucky yet :D

For the record though, these birds are tricky to tell apart, even in adult plumage, and I personally would be hesitant to call it if I saw this exact same bird in the transition zone of northern Namibia or Botswana where both species occur.

So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed the challenge and even learned something.

Read more about:

1. Arrow-marked Babbler
2. Sabota Lark
3. Shy Albatros
4. White-faced Whistling Duck
5. Wood Sandpiper
6. Killdeer unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
7. Osprey
8. Dark Chanting Goshawk

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Good afternoon Everyone.

So here goes for challenge #44.

1.
Image
2.
Image
3.
Image
4.
Image
5.
Image
6.
Image
7.
Image

Good luck and have fun. One tricky bird in there! :lol: :wink: :whistle:

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Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


Last edited by Ferdelance on Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Sorry for the delay guys! Had connection problems and then a Madagascar Cuckoo appeared out of thin air... :twisted:

Challenge #43 Answers

#1-Red-winged Francolin
The black neckline that is bordered with rufous on both sides was the best clue here.

#2-Brown firefinch
The brown crown and grey rump was the clues here.

#3-Carmine Bee-eater
This one is very straight forward

#4-Western-Banded Snake-eagle
Again almost everybody got this one right. The combination of the barred lower belly, bare legs, yellow eye and the dark band on the lower part of tail gave this one away.

#5-Olive Thrush
This one turned out to be more difficult. The features to look for is a white vent, brown eye ring and mottled throat.

#6-Copper Sunbird
Also a difficult one..
The feature to go for is the fact that this bird almost resembles a Bronze Sunbird but lacks the elongated tail feathers. The black/dark underpart combined with the shining bronze/green plumage is typical for Copper Sunbird. Remember that a Bronze sunbird doesn’t have an eclipse plumage which means that you won’t see one without the long tail feather..

#7-Black-crowned Night-heron Juv.
Another blocker…
The best feature here is the very white spots on the upper wing coverts and back which is not as distinct in Grean-backed heron.

#8-Martial Eagle Juv.
Again very easy bird. The fact that this bird has a brown hind neck separates it from Crown Eagle Juv.

Read more about:

1. Red-winged Francolin
2. Brown-Firefinch unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
3. Southern Carmine Bee-eater
4. Western-banded Snake-Eagle unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
5. Olive Thrush
6. Copper Sunbird unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
7. Black-crowned Night-Heron
8. Martial Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Good Evening Everyone.

Apologies for the late posting of the pics but we decided to try and find a Madagascar Cuckoo....not very successfully though! Anyway so I only got back from Kruger this morning @ 2! Been a hectic weekend!

Jee I am getting the feeling that my challenges are not that good. Only 8 mites taking part for #44.

the pass mark was 64.3% . So it really looks like you were all struggling a bit. I knew Number 7 was really tough. Did you guys find it to difficult to do? :rtm:

Answers #44:
1. [8/8] Yellow Fronted Canary. No problems here.

2. [5/8] Long billed Crombec. I see one or two said it is a Red faced crombec. The bird would have shown a overall reddish wash to the throat and underbody if this was the case. This bird shows a whiteish throat and light orange underbody.

3. [3/8] Fiscal Flycatcher. Ok this is where most of you struggled. Collared flycatcher seemed to be the popular choice. A male collard Flycatcher would be showing a white collar behind the head and a grey not white rump with a white frons infront of the eye. All 3 features not the case in this bird. Just a normal Fiscal flycatcher showing more white on the wing than usually because of the angle and timing of the photo! :whistle:

4. [8/8] Chorister Robin-Chat. I thought with the shadow I would chatch someone but you all nailed this one..... :dance:

5. [4/8] Brown Throated Martin. It was a little sneaky photo as the Martin was perched. The long wings that extend beyond the tail and the fine body and small bill should have pointed you towards a swallow/martin. The overall brown bird then should exclude the swallows and the lack of a white throat and brown collar should eliminate the Sand martin. I speak under correction but Rock MArtins won't perch in trees like this and don't have such white bellies and flanks.

6. [4/8] Meve's Starling. This bird is much smaller and finer than a Burchel's which has a much bigger and plumper appearance! The tail is much thinner and pointier than Burchel's which is typical Meve's characteristic. The bird although being a Juv already shows the charactiristic blue rather than the more greenish tingeing of a burchel's.

7. [1/8] Sooty Shearwater. Ok this was the tricky bird. I didn't want to add this pic initially as it doesn't show the key I.D feature for Sooty shearwater which is the silvery underwing coverts. This was not an easy I.D tand the only real indicator was the lighter yellowish, (not white), throat patch on this bird which should separate it from Flesh-Footed shearwater. It doesn't however have a white throat which excludes all the shearwaters except Flesh-footed and Wedge tailed. It is however very cool that everyone I.D this bird as a shearwater. That is already brilliant attempt getting the family right. Wasn't easy this photo......

wishing everyone a succesful and peaceful final week of November!

Read more about:

1. Yellow-fronted Canary
2. Long-billed Crombec
3. Fiscal Flycatcher
4. Chorister Robin-Chat
5. Brown-throated Martin
6. Meve's Starling
7. Sooty Shearwater unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.

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Latest Lifer:= Shelley's Francolin; Flappet Lark.


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:10 am 
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Challenge #45 Answers.

Alrighty, answer time. I've received 11 entries and overall the scores were very good. Like I said, it's a fairly easy challenge and there were three 10/10's and five 9/10's. The average score was 8.72/10. So well done guys and gals.

Image
Bird 1: African Barred Owlet - Only 1 person got this one wrong with African Wood Owl which has a very prominent white face and dark eyes.

Image
Bird 2: African Snipe - This bird fooled nobody with his silly breakdancing and everyone got it right.

Image
Bird 3: Freckled Nigthjar - Again, only one incorrect entry with Fiery-necked Nightjar. The Freckled Nightjar is unique in that it has no noticeable markings really. No white or cream wing spots, no rufous collar, no streaking on the back, no white throat patch, no wing bars, nothing. It's just a generally dark bird.

Image
Bird 4: Jackal Buzzard - I was hoping to catch out a few of you with this one and I caught out only 3. The rest had it all right. So the important thing to note is that Jackal Buzzard does have a pale form in which the rufous on the breast is paler or even white. The pale forms occur across their entire range but is particularly common in the northern Cape.

This bird shows some pale rufous feathers in the breast, which is enough already to ID it as Jackal Buzzard but the dark thighs also rule out Augur Buzzard which would have a bone white breast, belly and thighs.

Image
Bird 5: Bennett's Woodpecker - Also 11/11 correct entries for this one. Well done. I thought that, seeing as the underparts are not visible in the pic it might pose some ID challenge but you all rose to the challenge brilliantly.

Image
Bird 6: African Emerald Cuckoo - Received 3 incorrect entries. I'm going to assume that the answer of Black Cuckoo came from someone who still uses a Hercules Monochrome monitor :twisted: No but seriously, there is no plumage, age or sex of Black Cuckoo that shows any green tones in the plumage and certainly not the bill or eye ring. African Paradise Flycatcher do show some colour on the head and bare parts but they're shades of blue, not green.

Generaly though, I doubt that African Emerald Cuckoo would be confused with either of these two species in a real world environment.

Image
Bird 7: Black-bellied Bustard - Another full house. No problems ID'ing this bird.

Image
Bird 8: American Purple Gallinule - Only one incorrect entry which was for Purple Gallinule and I suspect that the omission of the "American" prefix was probably just a slip of the mind or a slip of the finger. If the yellow tipped bill and small blue frontal shield weren't good enough, the bright yellow legs provide the dead giveaway.

Image
Bird 9: Lizard Buzzard - I was hoping that this one would catch more of you out but I received only one incorrect entry for Gabar Goshawk. With the head turned sideways, the throat stripe isn't clearly visible but some white can still be seen. Other than that, it's a stockier bird than Gabar Goshawk but most noticeably the tail is much shorter with only a single white band on the undertail.

https://www.box.com/s/rt0tg1fint9mtswvpabi
Bird 10: Lizard Buzzard - I thought I'd be sneaky by throwing in a bird call and using a species that has already featured in the challenge :D The call was correctly identified by 7/11 participants with incorrect entries ranging from African Fish-Eagle to Great Spotted Cuckoo. While Great Spotted Cuckoo has one call that is somewhat similar in rhythm, it has a very different timbre, more "hoarse" in a manner of speaking.

Read more about:

1. African Barred Owlet
2. African Snipe
3. Freckled Nightjar
4. Jackal Buzzard
5. Bennett's Woodpecker
6. African Emerald Cuckoo unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
7. Black-bellied Bustard
8. American Purple Gallinule unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
9 & 10. Lizard Buzzard

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:09 am 
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Challenge #46 Answers
Sorry for the delay! Line problem again! Only 6 people took part in this one.

#1 Corn Crake: The best clue is the very rufous panel in the wing.
Image

#2 African Goshawk:They best clue is the grey.
Image

#3 White-breasted Alethe: a VERY shy bird in the undergrowth of the forest. Combination of the white breast, chestnut back and grey head makes this one unmistakable.
Image

#4 East-Coast Akalat: The greyish blue around the eye with the orange throat and white belly is the best clues.
Image

#5 Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike: very straight forward, everyone got this one.
Image

#6 Spectacled Weaver: The black line through the eye was the clue, and uniform greenish back.
Image

#7 Yellow-breasted Pipit: also an easy one, most got this one. Has a very bold marked back and lacks the yellow eyebrow of Yellow-throated Longclaw.
Image

#8 Grey Francolin: the best clue was the speckled throat.
Image[/quote]

Read more about:

1. Corn Crake
2. African Goshawk
3. White-breasted Alethe unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
4. East-Coast Akalat unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
5. Chestnut-fronted Helmet-Shrike unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
6. Spectacled Weaver
7. Yellow-breasted Pipit
8. Grey-winged Francolin


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Hi All,

Here are the answers to Bird ID Challenge #47 as sent to me by Deefstes:

Image

Bird #1 - African Golden Oriole

This is a somewhat tricky picture due to the fact that the wing coverts aren't visible, which would usually be a very prominent identification feature and secondly due to the unexpected plumage of this individual. The bird is very near adulthood and has the plumage of an adult but still the dark bill of a juvenile. The black stripe that extends well behind the eye and the fine streaking on the underparts should be enough to ID it though.

Image

Bird #2 - Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

This one shouldn't have been too difficult but I included it because birds in this worn adult plumage are sometimes confused for Madagascar Bee-eater. All the important features are still visible, even if some of it are a bit diminished. The blue facial markings (above and below the black eye stripe) has faded and appears almost white, the green crown is a darker olive hue and the yellow chin is also much less conspicuous. If you look closely though, you will still see that these features are all present. Madagascar Bee-eater never has any hint of blue on the face and the rufous throat patch is quite broad and extends to below the eyes. There are two subspecies of Madagascar Bee-eater, the nominate eastern population always has a brown crown, no hint of green. The western population (also known as Olive Bee-eater) shows a pale greenish hue in the crown but will not have any yellow on the chin.

Image

Bird #3 - Eurasian Hobby

Fairly straight forward one this (once you get over the shock of the horrible picture quality). Female Amur Falcon lacks the bold malar stripe, has a barred breast and belly, red/orange cere, eye ring and legs and the rufous vent is much paler.
Pale morph Eleonora's Falcon has rufous extending much further up the body and is much more slender looking bird with longer wings and a longer tail.

Image

Bird #4 - Grey Tit

Only real contender for confusion would be Ashy Tit which has grey flanks as opposed to light brown and blue-grey upperparts with black primaries as opposed to the dark brown of this bird.

Image

Bird #5 - Grey Wagtail

While there are numerous colour forms of Yellow Wagtail, some that may even approximate this bird, none of them have a grey back. More importantly though, the extremely long tail of this bird should give it away immediately.

Image

Bird #6 - Kurrichane Buttonquail

Not likely to be confused with other Buttonquails but could possibly be confused with Common Quail or Harlequin Quail, neither of which has the tell-tale cream coloured iris. Also, as regards plumage there are a number of differences but the black spots on the flanks are perhaps the most useful.

Image

Bird #7 - Swamp Nightjar

The white eyebrow and moustachial stripe, combined with the general spotted appearance (rather than streaked) with no obvious lines formed by wing spots separates this from Square-tailed Nightjar.

Image

Bird #8 - White-crowned Lapwing

No other Lapwing has that much white in the wing with the only exception being Long-toed Lapwing, which lacks the big black patch on the upperwing. Also, the yellow wattle can be seen, if only just.

Image

Bird #9 - White-winged Tern

The first important thing to note is that these are marsh terns or Chlidonias terns. That immediately narrows down the search to just three species and the black colour (as opposed to steel grey) already rules out Whiskered Tern. One might be tempted to go with Black Tern but the black underwing coverts rules that one out. Rather counter intuitively, the Black Tern has white underwing coverts while the White-winged Tern has black underwing coverts.

Image

Bird #10 - Black-legged Kittiwake

Once you realise that this is not a gull there isn't really anything you could confuse it with. Immature birds might have posed a minor ID challenge with Sabine's Gull but in this adult plumage it is a fairly straight forward matter. Now if only finding them in South Africa was as straight forward...

There were eight entries for this challenge, and I thank you all very much for entering!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy, prosperous 2013!

Our next challenge will start on 11 January 2013!

Image

Read more about:

1. African Golden Oriole unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
2. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
3. Eurasian Hobby
4. Grey Tit unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
5. Grey Wagtail
6. Kurrichane Buttonquail
7. Swamp Nightjar
8. White-crowned Lapwing
9. White-winged Tern
10. Black-legged Kittiwake unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.

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"Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work." - David Grayson


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:14 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 275
Wow, judging from the scores this has been the toughest challenge I have set to date. Nobody got full marks, but congratulations to Ladybirder and Barryels for top scoring 8/10. I hope the answers will be educational and encouraging to keep you all entering and learning. . In this challenge I also tried to find as many colour morphs and images that don’t appear in the guide books to encourage you to look at shape and form, rather than colour of plumage etc and to read some of the text and descriptions, as well as using the web based info. With the exception of the first bird, the theme was juveniles from the Southern cape and Karoo surrounds, so here goes, the answers and explanations.

#1 Common Ostrich
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You guys all had loads of fun with the “honey badger”. I figured for the first bird of the year “go big or go home”. Amazing how you can hide a 100kg black and white 2m tall bird in sparse karoo vegetation. For those of you who wanted scores by the Kg, you all got 98%. I think that’s where the fun stopped and the work began.

#2 Cape Sparrow
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If you look carefully, at the corner of the beak, you can see the remains of a fleshy yellow gape. This should set all the alarm bells off, that the colouring in the bird you see may not be the same as the adult plumage. At the time it was being fed by cape sparrow adults. I am still not 100% sure if it is male or female, as I am not sure how the colour develops into adulthood. Other guesses were white browed sparrow weaver and yellow throated petronia.

#3 Black Winged lapwing (sub adult)
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The adult BWL is quite easily separated from the Senegal lapwing, in that the eye ring is much bolder, and the legs pink, not black. Pictures of the adult would be no fun, so I posted a picture of a sub adult, which has not developed complete adult eye colouring, giving it an appearance of Senegal lapwing…. The pink legs were the clincher for BWL.

#4 Malachite Kingfisher (juvenile)
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Most guide books don’t show the juvenile with black bill, so I expected many of you to default to half collared kingfisher. Despite my most evil intentions :twisted: , few fell for it.

#5 Lanner Falcon (juvenile)
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Yellow feet, (not orange would eliminate Amur and Eurasian Hobby falcon) the streaking stops at shoulder height eliminates juvenile Peregrin falcon, in which the streaks extend up the neck . The bird is also too stocky to be migratory elenora’s, hobby or amur falcons.

#6 Yellow canary (male sub adult/transitional)
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I thought this would be harder, but most of you got this right. The juvenile male is similar in appearace, but more boldly marked than the female. The odd bright yellow feathers suggest the male transforming into adult plumage.

#7 Dusky sunbird baby (female)
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Yikes I apologise for posting this one, as it was way too hard, as there is no clear way I can think of that you could have nailed it down to species level among the sunbirds (without doing a PhD on the subject). What surprised me was how few people got this as a juvenile sunbird. Again, the yellow gape is the giveaway that this bird is very young. In sunbirds the beak still grows a bit after the bird is fledged (I guess you can’t fit a long beak into an egg), so the beak length and short tail had most people thinking along the lines of a crombecs and white eyes. The pollen on the tip of the beak also screams sunbird.

#8 White starred robin (fledgling)
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The dumpy appearance and wide fleshy gape should scream juvenile (fledgling) all over. There are a few species that produce spotted babies like that: robins, chats and flycatchers. Of these this is the only baby that has yellow spots. As the bird matures the bird goes olive yellow for the first year before obtaining the adult plumage. I landed up walking 13km carrying a Canon 7D with 400mm lens over hectic terrain, and this was the only picture I took the whole day. Well done Ladybirder, the only one to get this little baby right!

#9 Crowned Lapwing juvenile
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Most got this without any problems… I guess there are quite a few keen eyed birders among you that are able to spot these youngsters in the grass (my kids love finding them). The long pink legs and developing crown are diagnostic.

#10 Jackal Buzzard (Juvenile)
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Many of you battled to put this bird in the right family group. The lack of feathers on the legs rules out the eagles. The short tail and dumpy appearance would suggest you have a buzzard rather than kites or others. The lack of a T-shape in white or banding on the chest rules out steppe buzzard. Also the pale eye is more diagnostic for a young Jackal buzzard .

Read more about:

1. Common Ostrich
2. Cape Sparrow
3. [url=http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=80287[Black-winged Lapwing[/url]
4. Malachite Kingfisher
5. Lanner Falcon
6. Yellow Canary
7. Dusky Sunbird
8. White-starred Robin unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
9. Crowned Lapwing
10. Jackal Buzzard


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 3993
Location: The planning is on again.....
In the following the correct answers for the Challenge No. 02/13 - We had two full scorers with Jakkie Human and Dabchick :clap: :clap: :clap: and lots of 9/10 and it was definitely not a black coucal :thumbs_up:

No. 1
Image Shikra / Little Banded Goshawk

No. 2
Image Steppe (Common) Buzzard

No. 3
Image Wahlberg

No. 4
Image red-winged starling

No.5
Image red-backed shrike

No. 6
Image red-billed quelea

No. 7
Image thick-billed weaver

No. 8
Image whiskered tern

No. 9
Image purple crested turaco

No. 10
Image mute swan

Image mom should have had a watchful eye on the little one

Still struggling with 3 birds out of the challenge No. 3 but my try will come in shortly.

Thanks to all participants :thumbs_up:

Read more about:

1. Shikra
2. Steppe Buzzard
3. Wahlberg's Eagle
4. Red-winged Starling
5. Red-backed Shrike
6. Red-billed Quelea
7. Thick-billed Weaver
8. Whiskered Tern
9. Purple-crested Turaco
10. Swan unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.


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