And now the answers to challenge #37…
16 entries with an average score of 6.5.
1. African Cuckoo
I had no idea this bird could cause so many problems when I posted it. The picture below is the frame I took before it flew off, and shows it clearly to be an African cuckoo, grey back, yellow eye ring and yellow base to the bill. In hindsight, I realise that none of the guides would ever show a cuckoo at that angle, and I think for good reason: The feathers of many birds are often two toned, usually different colour edges, and when viewed under different conditions, they reveal different colours, sometimes emphasising the edge colour (e.g. when wet, or when the bird is hot and the feathers flat) and sometimes when the bird is warm, or fluffed out, the base colour is more visible compared to the tips. In this case the white is over emphasised as the base colour. With such small bits of info, most mites called this one a thick billed cuckoo. Only two mites got this one right.
2. Forest Canary
No problems here.
3. Red-eye dove (juvenile)
This is a juvenile bird as told from the plumage. eyes are pale, and will develop the red colour with age. Most got this one.
4. Eurasian Cuckoo (Hepatic form )
I thought this would be the bogey bird for this challenge, but most of you nailed it good and proper. It is a rare colour morph of the common cuckoo found in some females, called the Hepatic form. So named because the colouring resembles that of liver.
5. Southern Tchagra
No problems here. The location (De Hoop NP) would have be a give-away (Sorry Micetta).
6. Caspian tern
Generally, I hate tern ID. This one had me going for a while, as it is a non-breeding bird, so it does not have a typical full black cap as depicted in the guides, but has a grey crown with a black line through it (mentioned in the text). Largest of the terns with a big red bill are the clinchers.
7. Little Swift
Few problems are here. White rump and short unforked tail.
8. Wood sandpiper
I thought the lack of a distinct white eyebrow on this individual would baffle the mites, as this is quite diagnostic. Bur only one mite fell for that one. Other pics of the same bird had a more typical eyebrow, so perhaps he was frowning at me. Most got it right.
9. Which of these bird species pictured has the widest global distribution?
I think all of you got the other species as being house sparrow (female). The house sparrow has a greater range than the rock pigeon, and has managed to colonise a wider range of latitudes, such as most of the tropics and the arctic (there is a colony of them Iceland…BRRRR) I don’t think there is a single country were I have not seen them before.
10. The Common mynah and Common starling made it onto the world’s 100 most invasive species list. Which other bird made it onto this list?
Despite baiting question 10 with 9
, almost all of you got this right (Yay Google) I have always maintained that bulbuls share a lot in common with humans... they are generalist, omnivores and can live on almost anything, and are quite intelligent, constantly changing strategies to find food. Probably the only reason why most of us have not heard of this species, is that our own bulbuls are more than capable of looking after themselves, and are unlikely to be threatened by this invader.
Enjoy Mathew's challenge. It looks like a good one