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Bird ID Challenge 2012 - 2013

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:40 pm

Here are the results of Challenge #21 of 2013.

We had a goodly 17 ‘mites taking part, I think mainly thanks to hilda’s efforts to get the ‘mites’ noses back in their fieldguides! Some found this challenge very tough, others breezed through…

Two ‘mites scored 2;
two ‘mites scored 6;
we had one 7;
two got 8;
five scored 9;
and five got full marks.
Overall the challenge returned an average score of 78.8%...

Thanks again to those 'mites who so diligently add explanatory notes with their IDs. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Image

#1 – Wood Sandpiper [12] . Some battled to get the ID right. Most knew it was a wader. The distinctive white eyebrow; white in the wings, bars on tail and white on rump combine to make the ID possible.

Image

#2 – Common House Martin [15] . Few troubles here.
White featered feet is the diagnostic feature.

Image

#3 – Lark-like Bunting [11] . The indistinct eyebrow and moustachial stripe is typical. Not many such non-descript birds around. Once you have ID one, you’ll always remember it.

Image

#4 – Cut-throat Finch female presented no problems.

Image

#5 – Green Twinspot Female fooled one. [16] .

Image

#6 – African Finfoot Female got nailed by all.

Image

#7 – Golden Pipit Male [15] . In spite of the bright colouration of the bird, I expected more people to battle with this one. Black band on chest does not extend to the bill, black on primaries.

Image

#8 – Grey Plover non breeding [12] . American golden plover is a more slender bird with browner plumage, with pale yellow spotting and brown (not white) rump.

Image

#9 – Brown Booby Juvenile [9] . This was the toughest bird to ID. The bill shape is gannet-like. Juvenile gannets have shorter tails and lack the well-defined gorget on the breast where the lighter underparts start; as does red-footed booby.

Image

#10 – Diderick Cuckoo female [13] . Only confused by Klaas’.
White line through the eye, more brownish on back.

Read more about:

1. Wood Sandpiper
2. Common House Martin
3. Lark-like Bunting
4. Cut-throat Finch
5. Green Twinspot
6. African Finfoot
7. Golden Pipit
8. Grey Plover
9. Brown Booby unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
10. Diderick Cuckoo
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:35 pm

Righty-ho. Here we go with the answers to Challenge #22/2013. This turned out to be a nice challenge (not so sure about you but it was for me). I didn't expect it to be too difficult but it turned out to have been rather tougher than I thought - which is great. :twisted:

I received 17 entries of which not one had all the answers correct. In fact, the best score for this challenge was 8/10 (well done Dabchick) and the average score was 5.6/10. Also, none of the birds were correctly identified by all participants and the best scoring bird was number 5 with a score of 16/17.

The worst scoring bird was number 6 which scored only 1/17 and I bet the majority of you didn't even give this one much consideration.

So, let's get down to the birds:

Bird 1: Bare-cheeked Babbler (identified by 4/17). Of course this one relied to some extent on a bit of gut feel and intuition to arrive at the family. The dark underwings and tail contrasting with the very pale body plumage might have pointed you towards the babblers. A fair number of you got that far and then identified it as Southern Pied Babbler. The rufous markings on the nape and the off-white wash to the undersides identifies it as Bare-cheeked though. While not diagnostic, it is also worth noting that the birds sitting so tightly together and preening themselves (and each other, but the picture doesn't show that), is rather typical of this species.
Image

Bird 2: Green-backed Heron (identified by 15/17). Immature Black-crowned Night Heron is not a bad guess but that would have had a red or orange eye.
Image

Bird 3: Pale-winged Starling (identified by 15/17). I was hoping that the hint of red in the flight feathers would make you jump to the conclusion of Red-winged Starling but very few of you fell for that trap. Of course the orange eye is the dead giveaway here which would have been dark in the Red-winged Starling.
Image

Bird 4: African Cuckoo-Hawk (identified by 11/17). Most of the incorrect answers were for African Goshawk which, again, is not a bad guess as it does have a superficial resemblance to African Cuckoo Hawk, especially when the face is not visible. The broadly spaced and bold barring on the belly is a key feature of ACH and also that bold blck trailing edge of the underwing.
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Bird 5: Black-and-white Flycatcher (identified by 16/17). So this is the best performer of the day with only a single incorrect answer received. There are many reasons why it's not a Bulbul but I guess the yellow eye, white throat and red back are already three features that each rule out any of the local Bulbuls.
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Bird 6: Barn Swallow (identified by 1/17). I bet no-one expected this one to be the real stumper of the challenge :D Notice the blue tinge on the mantle which rules out any of the Martins. Once you've realised that it's a Swallow, the white (as oppoed to brown) forehead and the broader breast band sets it apart from White-throated Swallow.
Image

Bird 7: African Harrier-Hawk (identified by 3/17). I expected this to be one of the tougher birds for the challenge. I deliberately messed up the exposure a bit to remove even more plumage detail because I wanted to force you to pay more attention to the shape and proportions than to the plumage. The long, alomst pigeon-like, head and the long rounded tail would hopefully have prompted you to think Eurasian Honey-Buzzard but those bigger, paddle-like, wings helps identifying it as an immature African Harrier-Hawk. Few texts really deal with it but I suspect that the majority of Honey-Buzzard misidentifications are of immature African Harrier-Hawks.
Image

Bird 8: White-browed Scrub-Robin (identified by 15/17). This is where the bonus point was hidden and anyone who told me that it was of the ovamboensis subspecies would have bagged it and 7/17 did. Of course, this bird is tryng to trick you into thinking that it's a Kalahari Scrub-Robin with that plain breast but notice the very prominent white wing bars. Kalahari Scrub-Robin does not have any white on the wing and this is a very useful feature that you should always look for. A few challenges back there was a Kalahari Scrub-Robin shown from behind. I noticed that the rufous in the tail was discussed and some other salient features but no mention of this very important and diagnostic feature.
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Bird 9: Long-tailed Widowbird (identified by 2/17). Let's not fool ourselves, these non-breeding ploceids are very tricky birds to ID. At the same time though, I suspect we don't bother too much with them as we know that next summer we'll see plenty of easy ones again - unlike the Larks and Pipits which we study in great detail so we can ID them. I received a number of answers for Southern Red Bishop but they have a distinct yellow wash to the supercilium and throat. Notice this bird's pale cream eye brow and throat and also the ring around the eye. These are features that point to non-breeding Long-tailed Widowbird. Also, the wings have these very dark feathers with buff edges, typical of the species. Red-collared Widowbird has a much smaller bill.
Image

Bird 10: Namaqua Sandgrouse (identified by 14/17). The only other real contender would be female Double-banded Sandgrouse. Yellow-throated Sandgrouse has a distinct yellow face and throat (both male and femae) so shouldn't be confused. Female Burchell's also has a yellow face but both of those species have a distinct plumage that shouldn't be confused with Namaqua or Double-banded. This bird is told apart from female Double-banded Sandgrouse by the blue ring around the eye as opposed yellow. With a better view (from the front) an easier feature would have been the neck that is streaked vertically as opposed to barred horizontally.

There you have it. I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly enjoy it a little better when you guys suffer so forgive me if I relish a lekker tough challenge from time to time :D
Image

Read more about:

1. Bare-cheeked Babbler unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
2. Green-backed Heron
3. Pale-winged Starling
4. African Cuckoo Hawk
5. Black-and-white Flycatcher unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
6. Barn Swallow
7. African Harrier-Hawk
8. White-browed Scrub-Robin
9. Long-tailed Widowbird
10. Namaqua Sandgrouse
"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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Jakkie Human
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Re: Bird ID Challenge. #24 for 2013 Answers

Unread postby Jakkie Human » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:16 pm

Hi Birders,

Thank you Willie Janse van Rensburg for the use of your photos.
Thank you Ladybirder for all the descriptions.

9 Participants

1. Mangrove Kingfisher - No problem here (8/9)
Image

2. Damara Hornbill (3/9)
Les grey streaking on face and neck, dark eye and slender face.
Image

3. Karoo-Long Billed Lark (2/9)
Rufous on back and wing with fine streaks in back feathers, grey on neck going round to back.
Image

4. Grey Tit (7/9)
A more yellowish grey on underparts
Image

5. Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul) (6/9)
White throat, darker broader tail, white eye ring below and above eye
Image

6. Karoo Chat (1/9) - Open for debate. Was seen in Brandberg Namibia with a guide. Completely white outer tail feathers, where the Tractrac Chat’s tail is white with a dark inverted “T” at the tip.
Image

7. Drakensberg Rock-Jumper (8/9)
Image

8.Karoo Scrub-Robin (7/9)
Image

9. Fiscal Flycatcher Juvenile (4/9)
White wing bar only reaching the elbow not shoulder. White outer tail feathers .
Image

10. Dusky Indigobird Juvenile (1/9)
In eclipse plumage from breeding to non breeding or vice versa
Image

Enjoy :lotsocoffee:

Read more about:

1. Mangrove Kingfisher
2. Damara Hornbill unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
3. Karoo Long-billed Lark
4. Grey Tit unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
5. Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul)
6. Karoo Chat
7. Drakensberg Rockjumper
8. Karoo Scrub-Robin
9. Fiscal Flycatcher
10. Dusky Indigobird
Last edited by Jakkie Human on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Pumbaa » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:06 pm

Here are the results to Bird Challenge No. 23/2013!

I had in total 15 participants with very good results from 6 up to 9 out of 10 plus one full scorer although I thought this challenge might be a bit easier most of you struggled with the raptors under No. 8 + 9.

No. 1
Image Mocking Cliff chat

No. 2
Image abdim's storks

No. 3
Image African Hawk Eagle

No. 4
Image Spotted Flycatcher

No. 5
Image Temminck’s Courser

No. 6
Image Rattling Cisticola

No. 7
Image Verreaux Giant Eagle owl

No. 8
Image African Goshawk, juvenile

No. 9
Image Montague's harrier, female
The distinction between female Pallid and Montague's Harriers is indeed not easy. The best recognition character is the pale collar around the neck of the female and juvenile Pallid Harrier which is not present in the Montague's.

No. 10
Image red-faced mousebird

Thanks so much for participating everybody!

Read more about:

1. Mocking Cliff-Chat
2. Abdim's Stork
3. African Hawk-Eagle
4. Spotted Flycatcher
5. Temminck's Courser
6. Rattling Cisticola
7. Verreaux's Eagle-Owl
8. African Goshawk
9. Montague's Harrier
10. Red-faced Mousebird

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Re: Bird ID Challenge. #24 for 2013 Answers

Unread postby Jakkie Human » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:35 pm

Jakkie Human wrote:Hi Birders,

Thank you Willie Janse van Rensburg for the use of your photos.
Thank you Ladybirder for all the descriptions.

9 Participants

1. Mangrove Kingfisher - No problem here (8/9)
Image

2. Damara Hornbill (3/9)
Les grey streaking on face and neck, dark eye and slender face.
Image

3. Karoo-Long Billed Lark (2/9)
Rufous on back and wing with fine streaks in back feathers, grey on neck going round to back.
Image

4. Grey Tit (7/9)
A more yellowish grey on underparts
Image

5. Terrestrial Bulbul (6/9)
White throat, darker broader tail, white eye ring below and above eye
Image

6. Karoo Chat (1/9) - Open for debate. Was seen in Brandberg Namibia with a guide. Completely white outer tail feathers, where the Tractrac Chat’s tail is white with a dark inverted “T” at the tip.
Image

7. Drakensberg Rock-Jumper (8/9)
Image

8.Karoo Scrub-Robin (7/9)
Image

9. Fiscal Flycatcher Juvenile (4/9)
White wing bar only reaching the elbow not shoulder. White outer tail feathers .
Image

10. Dusky Indigobird Juvenile (1/9)
In eclipse plumage from breeding to non breeding or vice versa
Image

Enjoy :lotsocoffee:


Read more about:

1. Mangrove Kingfisher
2. Damara Hornbill unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
3. Karoo Long-billed Lark
4. Grey Tit unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
5. Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul)
6. Karoo Chat
7. Drakensberg Rockjumper
8. Karoo Scrub-Robin
9. Fiscal Flycatcher
10. Dusky Indigobird

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:20 pm

I'm going to plough with Laybirder's calf to help my out of the jam I'm in... I have not yet set up an Internet work station and to do the usual results post will be way to tough from my iPad.



#1 Horus Swift.
Not so deeply forked tail, white on rump.

Image


#2 Yellow Wagtail
Olive green on back Yellow underparts White outertail feathers.

Image


#3 Tree Pipit.
Pink lower mandible, wing pattern, streaked on flanks.

Image


#4 Sickle-winged Chat
The wing feathers edged rufous plus bigger difference than in the Familair Chat between the darker upperparts and the paler underparts.

Image


#5 Freckled Nightjar.
More uniform grey whith white spots on wing. Afrikaans naam of Donkernaguil (dark nightjar refers to this bird appearing to be the darkest of our nightjars.

Image


#6 Magpie Mannikin
Heavy two tone bill. The dark feathers on the head extends to nape and shoulders.

Image


#7 Montagu's Harrier
Black wing tips and narrow black band in middle of upper wing

Image


#8 Collared Flycatcher
White underparts grey/brown on back, nape and head, white wing bar.

Image


A surprisingly high number of 'mites got the bonus point. #9 Rosy-billed Pochard

Image

Read more about:

1. Horus Swift
2. Yellow Wagtail
3. Tree Pipit unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
4. Sickle-winged Chat
5. Freckled Nightjar
6. Magpie Mannikin
7. Montagu's Harrier
8. Collared Flycatcher
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:47 am

Bird ID Challenge # 27/2013.

1. Image

2. Image

3. Image

4. Image

5. Image

6. Image

7. Image

8. Image

9. Image

10. Image
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Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Dabchick » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:31 am

Answers to #26/2013

The stats:

11 participants.
Highest score 12/14 (two 'mites: Ladybirder & Dugong :clap: )
Average: 68.83%

1. Wood Sandpiper (7/11 correct answers, most common mistake green sandpiper)

White eyebrow, spotted appearance, legs greenish-yellow (and brighter/yellower than that of the green sandpiper), bill not that long and heavier than that of the Green Sandpiper, also lighter brownish back than the green sandpiper.
Image

2. Amethyst Sunbird juv (9/11 correct answers)
Black on throat and white eyebrow
Image

3. Natal Spurfowl (almost no problems here, 10/11 correct answers)
Legs reddish, black and white pattern on underparts, black streak on back feathers.
Image

4.Rattling Cisticola (Only 3/11 correct answers, other common answers included Lazy cisticola (which has a plain not streaked back), Levaillant's cisticola (back marked much more boldly than this), Wailing cisticola (bill slightly smaller, black marks on back slightly bolder)
Grey on back streaked darker grey, eyebrow visible
Image

5.White-browed Scrub Robin (almost no problems: here 10/11 correct answers)
White chin, streaked chest and white eyebrow
Image

6.Brown-headed Parrot (6/11 correct answers; a few 'mites thought it may be African green pigeon, which would have a smaller, straighter bill and smaller feet, and one or two thought Meyer's parrot. Frankly, after browsing through a few books, I realized this may have been an unfair photo to use, as some books, e.g. Sasol, says that the brown-headed parrot should have all yellow under wings, while the Meyer's parrot have limited yellow :? . So I can only apologize for the unfair pic and post another photo clearly showing the two-toned bill and greenish (not turquoise) underparts :roll: )
Green underparts,Dark upper mandible with paler lower mandible, yellow underwing coverts.
Image

7.Ashy Flycatcher (few problems here, 9/11 correct answers)
Blue-grey colour, white eyering and black loral spot
Image

8.Black-crowned Night-Heron sub adult (6/11 correct answers)
Red eyes, stil some green at base of bill, black crown
Image

9.Brown Snake Eagle juv (almost no problems, 10/11 correct answers)
Yellow eyes, Pale grey cere, greyish legs, still spotted white on underparts.
Image

10. Black-backed puffback juvenile :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: -- I caught a lot of you! One correct answer, by Dugong :clap:
black cap, buffy colour mixed in with black on back and wings. I add another photo showing the face, with the brown eye of the juvenile puffback
Image
Image

11.Zitting Cisticola (7/11 correct answers; few other cisticolas look like this one - the Cloud cisticola has an even shorter tail)
Bright pink legs that appear bit long, pale colour in wing, shortish tail
Image

12. African Hawk Eagle (few problems, 9/11 correct answers. One 'mite though martial eagle, which will have a more massive head and dark chest with spots on white underparts. Ayre's hawk eagle have a more boldly-streaked chest)
white spots on wing, Streaked on chest
Image

13. Pale flycatcher (8/11 correct answers)
Pale grey-brown upperparts, off-white, dirty looking underparts, size (difficult to see on photo, smaller than a thrush. Closest in "looks" with Chat flycatcher, which is larger, thrush-sized, and occurs in the western parts of the country (this photo was taken near Pretoriuskop in the KNP
Image

14.Bearded Woodpecker male (no problems here 11/11)
The only one barred and not streaked or spotted, Red on crown, black and white spotted on forehead, dark line through eye, dark broad moutachial stripe
Image

Read more about:

1. Wood Sandpiper
2. Amethyst Sunbird
3. Natal Spurfowl
4. Rattling Cisticola
5. White-browed Scrub-Robin
6. Brown-headed Parrot
7. Ashy Flycatcher
8. Black-crowned Night-Heron
9. Brown Snake-Eagle
10. Black-backed Puffback
11. Zitting Cisticola
12. African Hawk-Eagle
13. Pale Flycatcher
14. Bearded Woodpecker

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:19 am

Answers to #27/2013

The stats:

12 participants.
Highest score 10/10
Average: 82.5%

1. African Rail (12/12 correct answers, joint easiest entry)

As everyone got this one right, there is no need for me to elaborate on the answer.

2. Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk (8/12 correct answers, most common mistake was Greater Spotted Cuckoo)

The angle makes it tricky. The talons however are clearly visible which would rule out things like Cuckoos. The bird is compact where cuckoos have a more elongated GISS.The undertail pattern and the bill shape is also not right for a cuckoo.

3. Square-tailed Drongo (11/12 correct answers)

Distinguished from Southern Black Flycatcher by its more compact GISS, forked tail and red eye. The tail is slightly shorter and much less forked than that of the Fork-tailed Drongo.

4. Double-banded Courser (Only 6/12 correct answers, this was the most difficult of the lot, but some people managed to crack the code by looking it up on my site. :twisted: )

It was called a "real stinker" by one of the participants. No one really had the right to get this one correct, but some "thinking out of the box" and sneakiness brought results. :twisted: I have no idea really how to describe the bird, so will leave it at that for now.

5. Kurrichane Buttonquail (11/12 correct answers)

Clearly a bird from the quail family. The distinct pattern on the back would lead you to Kurrichane Buttonquail.

6. Grey Sunbird (9/12 correct answers)

The overall grey colour and the green/blue hue on the wing shoulder were the id features which distinguished it from any other sunbird.

7. Swee Waxbill (12/12 correct answers, joint easiest entry)

As everyone got this one right, there is no need for me to elaborate on the answer.

8. Amethyst Sunbird - transitional (10/12 correct answers)

The bird is in transitional plumage and many a good birder are caught out by this. The purple throat and green sheen on the forehead is visible enough to point this one to the correct species.

9. Brown-throated Martin (11/12 correct answers)

The longish pointed wings, head and bill all pointed to the Martin family. The brown breast and throat and lack of white spots on the tail ruled out the rest of the competitors.

10. Bushveld Pipit (almost no problems, 8/12 correct answers)

Another rather tough one as Pipits always turn out to be. Once you have narrowed it down to Pipits, you have to look at the tail length and the throat colouration. Tree Pipits have a whiter throat and Short-tailed Pipits, well, a much shorter tail.


Well done to all who participated and I hope you all learned a great deal from it. :thumbs_up:

Read more about:

1. African Rail
2. Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk
3. Square-tailed Drongo
4. Double-banded Courser
5. Kurrichane Buttonquail
6. Grey Sunbird
7. Swee Waxbill
8. Amethyst Sunbird
9. Brown-throated Martin
10. Bushveld Pipit
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Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

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deefstes
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:56 pm

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Read more about:

1. Red-headed Weaver
2. Water Thick-knee
3. African Wood-Owl
4. Red-capped Lark
5. Red Phalarope unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
6. Short-toed Rock-Thrush
7. Southern Banded Snake-Eagle
8. Broad-tailed Warbler unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
9. Red-faced Cisticola
10. Common Fiscal
"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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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:56 pm

I don't think any 'mites will still send answers this late...

Here we go with the answers to Challenge #29/2013 - just 10 participants... :hmz:

#1 – Drakensberg Prinia, toughest bird of the challenge. The general GISS is that of a prinia and with the streaking on the breast you had a choice: either Karoo or Drakensberg. The yellow wash on the sides (underparts) is diagnostic. The streaking is in any case not extensive enough for Karoo. A number of ‘mites commented on the Ouhout tree (Leucosidea sericea) the bird was sitting in, also depicted in an illustration of this species in the LBJ book. Well, that is purely fluke as Ouhout is distributed over high altitude areas of the Eastern Cape, western KwaZulu-Natal, eastern Free State, the North West Province, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Ouhout stands are favourite habitats for a large variety of tits, bulbuls, prinias, warblers, flycatchers and bushshrikes.

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#2 – Buff-streaked chat, female presented few problems. addictedtobirds says the GISS screams Chat and then after failing to find anything in Newmans, the LBJ book gave him the answer.

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#3 – Yellow Bishop female or non-breeding male. Lots of streaking on underparts , the pinkish bill. Only Southern red bishop popped up as an alternative. It has a more definitive eyebrow, less heavy streaking and never shows yellow on the wing and shoulder.

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#4 – African Pied Wagtail juvenile (no problems here). Broad white bar in the wing is diagnostic.

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#5 – Willow Warbler. Eyebrow extends well behind eye. Orange lower mandible, pale yellow underparts. Pink-brown legs take icterine and garden warblers out as both these have blue-grey legs.

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#6 – Red-faced Cisticola, not much trouble here. Red on face is diagnostic.

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#7 – Red-throated Wryneck imm. (An easy tick for everyone)

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#8 – Red-knobbed Coot, Juvenile. Using a bit of licence: adrianp’s 5-year-old said to granny “Nona, those aren’t moorhens, Silly, they are coot”. I guess the insight comes ingrained?

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Read more about:

1. Drakensberg Prinia
2. Buff-streaked Chat
3. Yellow Bishop
4. African Pied Wagtail
5. Willow Warbler
6. Red-faced Cisticola
7. Red-throated Wryneck
8. Red-knobbed Coot
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

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Pumbaa
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Pumbaa » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:49 pm

I still owe you the answers out of challenge No. 30/13!

No 1
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red-billed buffalo weaver

No. 2
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Lesser masked weaver female

No. 3
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Violet-backed (plumcoloured) starling juvenile

No. 4
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Great Spotted Cuckoo

No. 5
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European (Barn) swallow

No. 6
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Blue Waxbill

No. 7
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Amur Falcon, male

No. 8
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Levaillant's (Striped) Cuckoo

No. 9
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Giant kingfisher

No. 10
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African fish eagle

Thanks to all the 15 participants :clap: :clap: :clap:

Read more about:

1. Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver
2. Lesser Masked-Weaver
3. Violet-backed Starling
4. Great Spotted Cuckoo
5. Barn Swallow
6. Blue Waxbill
7. Amur Falcon
8. Levaillant's Cuckoo
9. Giant Kingfisher
10. African Fish Eagle

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Dabchick » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:53 am

Pumbaa wrote:I still owe you the answers out of challenge No. 30/13!

No. 7
Image

Amur Falcon, male


:hmz:

I'd love to know why this is an Amur falcon male and not a Red-footed falcon male.

Was there something in the photo that one was supposed to see that distinguishes between the two species, or did those who got this one right just guessed right? (I suspect the latter...)

All my bird guides say male Red-footed and Amur falcons are indistinguishable when perching...and I really tried to see a difference, but couldn't. So I guessed wrong.... obviously. But I'm wondering whether there is some identifying mark that others can see that I couldn't... :wall:

I do hope it is not the plant the bird is perching on that was the clincher this time! :lol: (thinking of the Drakensberg prinia in the previous challenge...)

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Pumbaa » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:47 am

I even did not know that the difference between amur falcon and red-footed falcon was so small, however, this was definitely an amur falcon as many more and even females were nearly sitting on the same bush - One of our favourite birds :thumbs_up: but I think that is making this challenge sometimes so tricky the challengers did not know what the photographer might spot also in the vincinity or even close by.......

Thanks Johan - Great explanation :clap:

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:13 pm

Pumbaa wrote: ...however, this was definitely an amur falcon as many more and even females were nearly sitting on the same bush


The presence of other Amur falcons does not guarantee the ID as red-footed falcons frequently fly with Amur falcons in mixed flocks, albeit always being significantly in the minority.
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal


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