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Chat, familiar

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

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:38 pm

Yolandé, I think your bird is a familiar chat with a rare condition called “long billed syndrome”.

Birds’ beaks are made of keratin. The birds' beaks normally wear down with use and continue to grow at the same time. There’s a balance. But some hitherto unidentified catalist is causing this super-fast growth — and once going, it doesn’t get turned off. Eventually it gets to a stage where the bird cannot feed properly anymore and it will start to starve to death. The disorder affects any and all species. There is general consesus amongst ornithologists in the USA that instances of this syndrome are on the increase, markedly so. What is causing the deformities is uncertain as countless agents can contribute to bill deformities, from a natural injury to any number of toxins introduced into the food chain.

Sad situation...
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:55 pm

Thanks JvR. I remember seing a photo somewhere of a Hornbill with the same condition.

Thanks for the info. :)
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Gregor » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:33 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:Yolandé, I think your bird is a familiar chat with a rare condition called “long billed syndrome”.

Birds’ beaks are made of keratin. The birds' beaks normally wear down with use and continue to grow at the same time. There’s a balance. But some hitherto unidentified catalist is causing this super-fast growth — and once going, it doesn’t get turned off. Eventually it gets to a stage where the bird cannot feed properly anymore and it will start to starve to death. The disorder affects any and all species. There is general consesus amongst ornithologists in the USA that instances of this syndrome are on the increase, markedly so. What is causing the deformities is uncertain as countless agents can contribute to bill deformities, from a natural injury to any number of toxins introduced into the food chain.

Sad situation...



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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:49 pm

Saw these 2 in Glen Reenen Rest Camp, Golden Gate in January. It looked like it was a mom (left) with a young one(right). Any ideas?

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:47 am

I'd say Familiar Chat.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:28 am

joshilewis wrote:I'd say Familiar Chat.

I'd agree with Josh :)
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Falconry4ever » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:43 am

Bushbuddies wrote:Saw these 2 in Glen Reenen Rest Camp, Golden Gate in January. It looked like it was a mom (left) with a young one(right). Any ideas?

Hey. It is definitely two Familiar Chats, one juvenile. The Sickle-winged Chat is another confusing species, but the tail pattern is different from what is seen here. A good book that shows this is U. Oberprieler and B. Cillie's Bird Guide.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby jacliz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:19 pm

I'm really stuck with this one, seen a little way down from the towers at Marakele a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately I didn't have time to focus properly before it flew off so the photo is not good, to say the least :( . At first I thought, maybe a warbler, but now I have no idea. Can anyone help please?
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby ross hawkins » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:13 pm

I'm guessing along the lines of possibly Chat or Wheatear?

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Micetta » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:29 pm

Could it possibly be a stone chat fem. or juv.?

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby jacliz » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:38 am

Thanks for the help Ross and Micetta. I'm sure you're right and that it is a Stonechat.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby DotDan » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:12 am

Hi Jacliz, your bird seems to be a Familiar Chat :D

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby pnm » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:35 pm

Hello all

Last Thursday 7 April I went up to the rocks at the top of Paarl mountain and got five pictures of what at first I thought were two or three diffrerent birds of the same species. On examining the photos at home, however I became puzzled. Can an expert please tell me if my id attemtps are correct? I am starting to develop a specialist interest in LBJs but find them a real challenge (and pain!). It was this topic that got me my first LBJ - a levaillant's Cisticola and I've been pretty much hooked since.

Chat photo 1_ I ID this as a Familiar Chat - orange rump and tail , rufous patch behind ear. The only thing that was missing - and conspicuously so was wing flicking.
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Chat photo 2 I have the same ID as for above - Familiar Chat

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Chat photo 3 - now I get very confused. I saw this as a Familiar Chat then saw in Sasols that the unbdertail marking are completely wrong - so is this and the others Chats at all? I apologise for the photo - I took it just as the bird took off - a bit off luck as it displays the underside of the tail that now has me confused.

Image

The three possibilities are: they are all Familiar-Wing Chats (yet none displayed wing-flicking), then what of a Sickle winged Chat? The third possibiolity is my ID is hopelessy off and it is another species entirely.

The only good news for me is that whatever it turns out to be it will be a new tick!

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby DotDan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:43 am

Hi there pnm, I can really tell you that I understand how you feel with the confusion with the chats.. particularly in that area.

Myself and Wildtuinman, went birding in the Karoo NP last year June and we had a helluva time trying to turn Familiar Chats into Sickle Winged Chats..

It is very difficult to at first glance notice the difference, but as you noted, that if you wait long enough then you will see that little wagtail like tail whip. Not saying the Sickle Winged doesn't wag its tail, but certainly not an ID'able factor as far as Roberts is concerned..
Something we also picked up was the fact that Familiar chats are considerably darker underneath than the other chats. Karoo chat is very pale grey to white underneath where as you can see on all your pics except number 3 that all the birds show a very buffy brownish colour, much like the rest of his body. Karoo Chat is also very quickly taken out of the equation here as they have distinct outer white tail feathers..

Based on distribution alone I would almost rule out both the Karoo and Sickle Winged Chats (just just on the edge of their distribution range I think) and would say that all your chats are indeed Familiar chats.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Batmad » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:34 pm

Agree with Familiar Chat ;)
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