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 Post subject: Sparrow-lark, Chestnut-Backed
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:50 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
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Location: The planning is on again.....
Hi there,

I need your help again in identifying the following bird:

Image Larger View

Same has been spotted on 23.02.08 around Mopani Restcamp.

Thanks so much for your help :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:35 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Hunter Valley, Australia
Hard one Pumbaa, at first I thought a Chestnut Weaver - female but looking at location that is not possible so I will carry on searching. :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:42 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Pumbaa, looking at your pic the lighting is a bit confusing. In my opinion, your bird is either the female or non breeding male redcollared widow, the bill is that of a widow if i look at it- heavy. Also the sort of baggy eyes with white eye stripe. Another pointer i can see is the buff striped head? This bird seems to have a double longish tail which i would say is characteristic of these birds. Female longtailed widow is another option but i cant seem to see a black nasal stripe due to the lighting. So my best bet is female or non breeding male redcollared widow.


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:57 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Pumbaa,

It is not easy to id this bird at all. The bill points to it being one of the Lark species IMO. And I lean very much towards it being a Sparrowlark.

Female Chestnut-Backed Sparrowlark to be precise.

Let us see if we can get to it:

Habitat: Check.
Feint whitish color on hind neck: it would seem so.
Heavy bill: Check.
White vent: Check.
White cheek: Check.

Furthermore it lacks a distinct eyebrow and the white above the eye seems to be restricted to a upper half of a white eye ring.

I will say that it is a Female Chestnut-Backed Sparrowlark. Did you perhaps see any males in the vicinity? You would've seen her at the end of a their peak breeding season and thus normally in company of a male. Other times they are gregarious in quite a big flock.

They very rarely perch in trees though! So if it is a Female Chestnut-Backed Sparrowlark, which I am pretty sure it is, then you did well to get it sitting in a tree. :wink:

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