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Cisticola, Levaillant's

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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jacliz
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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby jacliz » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:24 pm

Spent the long weekend a few kms north of Roodeplaat Dam and spotted 53 species, including some new ticks, but as usual I'm struggling with the LBJ's :redface: Could someone confirm or otherwise my ID's? Maybe this is a Wailing Cisticola?
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:18 pm

Your bird looks more like a Levaillant's Cisticola to me than Wailing Cistic.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Batmad » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:25 pm

Could either be Levailints Cisticola or Wailing but i am going to go with levailints because it has a clearly visable eyebrow and its back is black and its nech rufous and these two dont mix and are clearly seperated. The rufous wingbar is also clearl visible.
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jacliz
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby jacliz » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:51 pm

Thanks deefstes and Batmad. Now I'm more :? . I originally thought the bird was Levaillant's but it has definite streaking on its head and all the pictures I've seen show a plain head???? I'm not doubting you - I just want to learn what to look for so I don't have to keep on bothering you! It was near a dam so the habitat is correct for Levaillant's - just the head markings threw me. They all look so alike it's a wonder THEY can tell what they are!
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:25 pm

jacliz wrote:I originally thought the bird was Levaillant's but it has definite streaking on its head and all the pictures I've seen show a plain head????

Well spotted. Your bird does indeed have streaking on the head and that is actually a feature of non-breeding Levaillant's Cisticola. In breeding plumage it would not have shown that streaking but in non-breeding plumage it does.

Unfortunately (maybe fortunately) the guide books can't give full illustrations of every bird in every plumage in every age group in every sex and every pose. This is why guide books have text accompanying the illustrations. I don't have any books with me now but I should expect that the big ones (Sasol, Newmans, Roberts) will probably mention this in the text.

Also, if you saw the bird near a dam that should actually have been your first clue. With Cisticola identification, the vocalisation and habitat is usually the starting point. After those have been considered the plumage is often a peripheral consideration (if it is a consideration at all). This is actually the reason I find Cisticola ID so difficult if done just from photographs.

All Cisticolas are fairly habitat specific but some more so than others. Levaillant's cistic you will find a slightly wider range of habitats but Wailing Cisticola is actually very habitat specific, and to be honest, I can't think of any suitable habitat for it in Roodeplaatdam NR (I could be wrong though as I don't bird there much). Your description of the habitat not only fits for Levaillant's but it is very wrong for Wailing which have a strong preference for moist montane grassland.
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jacliz
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby jacliz » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:48 pm

:oops: Thanks again deefstes. I DID read the text but obviously I wasn't concentrating (trying to do too many things at once) - Roberts does mention darker streaking on crown in non-br. Levaillant's. I'll be more careful in future!
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Falconry4ever » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:56 pm

jacliz wrote:Spent the long weekend a few kms north of Roodeplaat Dam and spotted 53 species, including some new ticks, but as usual I'm struggling with the LBJ's :redface: Could someone confirm or otherwise my ID's?

Looks like Levaillant's as Wailing has a much warmer colour to the chest and breast than the latter as bird guides describe.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby CurtisDillon » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:15 pm

You guys are going to get tired of all my Questions. :twisted:
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What is this little guys name?
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:24 pm

Levaillant's Cisticola - Back is mottled black, rufous wingpanel and crown

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:46 pm

Agreed :thumbs_up:
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arks
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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:35 am

My early October visit to Bontebok NP brought me another collection of "mystery" birds. Here are a few I need help with :pray:

These two are, I think, cisticolas, but as always, which one is the question :? I'm thinking perhaps either wailing or zitting?

1. 1st possible cisticola
Image

Image

2. 2nd possible cisticola
Image

Image

Help will be, as always, greatly appreciated!
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Barcud » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:36 pm

Hi Arks,

I think your Cisticola's are Levaillants. Red head, well marked back and long tail, but I do struggle with these, so would like to see others opinions on this bird.

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arks
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:48 am

Thanks, barcud. I'll hope that someone else may have some ideas. :pray:
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JoelR
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby JoelR » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:27 am

arks wrote:Thanks, barcud. I'll hope that someone else may have some ideas. :pray:


Agree with Levaillant's Cisticola.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby arks » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:50 am

Thanks, Joel! :dance:
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