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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
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Award: Birder of the Year (2012)
Challenge #29 of 2013

This should be easier than usual… Time constraints are making me “soft”! :lol: :lol: :lol:

#1

Image

#2

Image

#3

Image

#4

Image

#5

Image

#6

Image

#7

Image

#8

Image



Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:56 pm 
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OK then, time for the answers to challenge 28. A total of 13 'mites took part. The average score was 6.8/10 and two 'mites pulled a 10/10 (well done Dabchick and Ladybirder). Interestingly, half of the birds were correctly identified by 10 or more 'mites but not a single bird was identified correctly by everybody.

Let's get straight into the answers and ID issues:

Bird 1: Red-headed Weaver (12/13)
This bird posed little challenge and 12/13 'mites identified it correctly. Of course it's either a female or non-breeding male.
Image

Bird 2: Water Thick-knee (11/13)
Also, fairly straight forward ID. I deliberately chose a picture that hides the horizontal wing bars and grey panels which most people rely on to ID this bird but what is visible of the upperparts still shows enough streaking (as opposed to spotting) to eiliminate Spotted Thick-knee.
Image

Bird 3: African Wood-Owl (12/13)
I didn't really expect this one to throw you off and it didn't. One incorrect answer received for Pearl-spotted Owlet which can be ruled out on a number of features, not least of which the barring on the breast and belly which would have been streaked in Pearl-spotted. In reality though, I doubt anyone would confuse these two species when faced with a field identification so no need to worry too much about diagnostic features.
Image

Bird 4: Red-capped Lark (7/13)
This was one of the worse performers and, of the incorrect answers received, only one (Fawn-coloured Lark) was repeated so I'm not really sure what ID features to compare against other species. The heavy bill already rules out any Pipit. While some races of Fawn-coloured Lark can show a more reddish colour, the colour is always uniform over most of the upperparts. To have a bird with a red crown contrasting like this with the rest of the upperpart colouration can only be a Red-capped Lark.

The reason this bird poses such a challenge is because the red shoulder patches are not visible and because it is of the C. c. spleniata race which only occurs in the north-west of Namibia (this one was photographed in Etosha). These birds are markedly paler than their eastern counterparts. Well done to those who got it right. I expected this to be one of the tougher ones of the week.
Image

Bird 5: Red Phalarope (a.k.a Grey Phalarope) (6/13)
Another bad performer. If the general shape and plumage of the bird didn't give it away, the facial pattern should immediately tell you that it's a Phalarope. Once you're on to the family, the length of the bill rules out Red-necked Phalarope which has a much thinner and more needle-like bill. I suspect it is the facial pattern that lead to one incorrect answer of Gull-billed Tern but the bill is way off and also the general body shape and the black primaries. For these same reasons it's not a Sanwich Tern either. I'd have to be honest that I can't account for that apparent white tip to the bill. I would chalk it down to the bad quality of the picture :D
Image

Bird 6: Short-toed Rock-Thrush (5/13)
This bird, along with the next one, were the worst performers of the week. I'm not surprised about the next one but I half expected most of you to get this one correct. All of you identified it correctly as a Rock-Thrush but most of you named it Cape Rock-Thrush. If this was the nominate race of Short-toed Rock-Thrush it would probably have been impossible to separate from Cape in a picture like this but this is the M. b. pretoriae subspecies which shows that distinct silver forehead.
Image

Bird 7: Southern Banded Snake-Eagle (5/13)
The other worst performer which is probably no surprise. The most common incorrect answer was for African Cuckoo-Hawk which would have grey head, not brown. More noticeably though, it would not have had such a big, round head which is typical of the Snake-Eagles. Some of you got to the Snake-Eagle family but opted for Western Banded Snake-Eagle of which the barring on the undersides would have been far less pronounced and also restricted to the belly, not extend up the breast like this one.
Image

Bird 8: Broad-tailed Warbler (a.k.a Fan-tailed Grassbird) (10/13)
While Little Rush-Warbler does have a heavy tail compared to other wetland warblers, it is nothing as heavy as this, particularly not at the base.
Image

Bird 9: Red-faced Cisticola (9/13)
The plain back narrows this Cistic down to a hand full from where it is relatively easy to arrive at Red-faced when you observe the light rufous ear coverts. All of the incorrect answers received were for Cisticolas of which the backs would have been streaked or Namaqua Warbler which would have had a longer tail and a finely streaked breast.
Image

Bird 10: Common Fiscal (12/13)
Yes, you didn't let the white eyebrow throw you off. You all remembered that some Common Fiscals have that white eyebrow. One incorrect answer received for Lesser Grey Shrike which would have had a black facial mask and no white eyebrow.
As a matter of interest, I should have offered a bonus point in this challenge and award it to anyone who gave me the correct subspecies - because none of you would have received it :twisted: Hehe, those of you who made reference to the subspecies all mentioned L. c. subcoronatus. It is true, subcoronatus does have a white eyebrow but they still have the regular black crown and hind neck of the nominate collaris. This one you will notice has a grey crown and hind neck which identifies it as L. c. aridicolus. This one was also photographed in Etosha.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:53 pm 
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Thank you, Deefstes, for the detailed explanation with the answers. :thumbs_up: Brilliant pictures.

Perhaps somebody who knows all that there is to know about birds can answer this for me..... :? I notice that some birds are being given different names. What is the reason for this?


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:42 pm 
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umtali1 wrote:
Perhaps somebody who knows all that there is to know about birds can answer this for me..... :? I notice that some birds are being given different names. What is the reason for this?

I certainly don't know everything there is to know about birds but I think I can answer this question.

The reason birds have been given new names is pretty much the same reason that you call something a traffic light while we call it a robot. People in different places call things by different names. In recent times there have been some efforts to standardise the names so that everybody speaks the same language, so to speak.

At least, that's one of the reasons. There are also some stylistic issues involving hyphenation and capitalisation but for the most part, the purpose is to find some sort of common ground where, if I talk about a Black Eagle to my Chinese buddy, he will have no doubt that I'm referring to the tropical Asian bird, not the Verreaux's Eagle which we get around here.

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Thank you for the explanation.


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:34 pm 
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Thanks for the new challenge Johan, and another thank you to Deefstes for the answers and explanations to challenge #28/2013! :dance: :dance:

Congratulations to Dabchick and Ladybirder with your 100% scores! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Well am am a very happy little person I got much to my surprise 7/8 :D #8 gave be a headache. Thank you Johan for the challenge. :gflower:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:00 pm 
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:clap: :clap: Shushin :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:23 pm 
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7/8 for #29 :dance: :dance: :dance:

Dave

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Letaba - 9/11/2011
Olifants - 10/11/2011
Satara - 11/11/2011
Skukuza - 12/11/2011
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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Hi All Birders,

Just want to say that I'm on my way to America for holiday, I will be joining the challenge again in Sept.

Cheers for now. :gflower: :yaya:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Hi all,

I'm off to America to visit my sister, fly Tues and be back 31 Aug. :lol: :dance: :whistle:

Enjoy your Id's, will miss you

Participate again from September

Bon Voyage


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:49 pm 
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Enjoy the US the two of you :thumbs_up: BTW it is not a reason for not doing the challenge..they have the Internet over there :twisted: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:37 am 
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Enjoy Jakkie Human and Gryskopvisvanger! We're going to miss you though! :D

Note to all participants:

Challenge #30/2013 will be posted by Pumbaa on Friday, 2 August 2013! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:14 am 
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7/8 for me too for challenge #29/2013! :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:39 am 
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Well done, Hilda :thumbs_up: I hope that I'll find the time :doh:


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