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Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Johann
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Johann » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:24 pm

JoelR wrote:...According to Best Birding in Kruger (Hilton-Barber & Arthur) the Scaly-throated Honeyguide occurs in KNP. Two good sites are mentioned: Crooks Corner [which is riverine forest] but also the Bushman Trail in the South-West of the park!...

There's been quite a few observations of Scaly-throated for SABAP2 around Pafuri:
2220_3110 - 12 sightings
2220_3115 - 3 sightings &
2225_3115 - 2 sightings

Nothing yet further south though.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie

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JoelR
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby JoelR » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:38 pm

I don't really know how to search on the SABAP2 website, but according to this map there seem to be a few records in the Phabeni/Skukuza area.

To confuse matters, the big Roberts VII bible says a juvenile Lesser Honeyguide has streaked throat and lacks the malar stripe. I am still voting Scaly-throated though. (Although I've never seen one.)

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby csoper » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:25 pm

Hi All
Personally, I think that Borrodcor2's bird is a female or immature Greater Honeyguide.

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Johann
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Johann » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:31 pm

JoelR wrote:I don't really know how to search on the SABAP2 website, but according to this map there seem to be a few records in the Phabeni/Skukuza area...


Red and yellow dots represent sightings for SABAP2. I'm not 100% sure about the park's boundaries but there doesn't seem to be any sightings other than Pafuri inside the park.
The Skukuza-area does seem to have Scaly-throated present according to the SABAP1 map but there are some doubts about the smoothing used to create these distribution maps using SABAP1 data.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie

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Johann
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Johann » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm

Some info regarding the habitat from SABAP1:

Habitat: It frequents a variety of habitats from wooded savanna to montane bamboo belts. In southern Africa it can be found in forest at all altitudes and along wooded gullies in river valleys and bushveld; it is perhaps more common in woodland-forest mosaics than in forest proper. Friedmann (1955) found it to be 'much more of a wooded-river-bottom dweller than either the Greater I. indicator or the Lesser I. minor Honeyguides.' The three vegetation types with the highest reporting rates collectively cover most of its range in southern Africa.

and

Reporting rates(%) for vegetation types:
Zimbabwe Highlands 7.4
East Coast Littoral 5.9
Afromontane Forest 3.4
Moist Woodland 2.2
Arid Woodland 2.1
Valley Bushveld 1.8
Miombo 0.7
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie

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deefstes
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:32 am

Righty-ho, time to report back on the Honeyguide. I've spent most of last night beating myself up about this bird and here's what I learned, from consulting numerous field guides, websites and more experienced birders.

First of all, this bird in the picture is a Scaly-throated Honeyguide, no doubt about it. The more I looked at the picture afterwards the less convinced I were of the Lesser Honeyguide ID up the point later where I couldn't believe that I had even considered Lesser Honeyguide. Well done Moegaai for sticking to your guns on this one.

One or two comments on juvenile Lesser Honeyguide features. The sometimes do show mottling to the undersides but rarely streaking and more often than not no visible markings at all. Roberts VII says, amongst many other things, the following "Juv: Darker below than ad; throat streaked, breast buffier and flanks less streaked." but just about every other reference I could find makes no mention of a streaked throat and I could not find any picture showing such a feature either.

As for the habitat preference of Scaly-throated Honeyguide I'm getting conflicting information. The general sentiment seems to be that they are indeed forest birds and are much more regularly recorded in forests but a number of good birders have told me that they have recorded Scaly-feathered Honeyguide in riparian woodland such as that which can be found around Skukuza.

As for recording SCHG in bushveld it seems the general agreement is that this is not the type of bushveld that we are used to in places like Kruger or north of Pretoria but rather Eastern Cape valley bushveld, an ecotype that I am not really familiar with.

Another dominant opinion seems to be that they are more common along forest edges where ecotypes meet rather than deep inside forests, but mostly where a forest is nearby at least.

At any rate, this certainly put the Scaly-throated Honeyguide in better perspective to me as it is clear that I did not really understand the bird like I thought I did. Either way, I still think finding and photographing a Scaly-throated Honeyguide near Skukuza is highly unusual and to be commended. Nice one borrodcor2 :clap:
"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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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Moegaai » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:38 pm

Thanks Deefstes! Keeping the Boys tightly clamped in the vice on this one turned out to be okay!!! :twisted:

Your explanation also is great - to be honest the moustachial stripe was starting to cast doubt with me!

My STHG experience was also based on coastal forests - saw my first (and second) while sitting at the restaurant there by the ZBR office in Richard's Bay!

Good weekend to all.


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