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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
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Pumbaa wrote:
It started slow but in the end I had 12 participents


Eina!

That is getting way too close to the minimum cut-off (10) I set during the period that I posted the challenges. I remember that hilda sent out PMs to all the 'mites we had on record as participants (in total 50 plus!) and for a time the numbers came up quite nicely. I think we topped out at 25...

Maybe some nudges with well-aimed PMs will up the number again?

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:45 pm 
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That's what Hilda is soooo good at :gflower: :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:52 pm 
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Hilda, you don't have to PM me, 'k? :lol:

I hope the yellow pointy hat with the big red D is still lying around because I've been out of action for way too long. :twisted:

'K, I have two days.... Here goes. :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:36 am 
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Good luck JenB .... and Thank you! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:13 am 
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I struck gold again this week with challenge no 14, 8/8 for me :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:00 am 
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Well done barryels! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:12 am 
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7/8 for me :dance: :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:09 am 
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Great score Sky! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:14 am 
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7/8 for #14 :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Well done to all so far with great scores :clap: :clap: :congrats:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:24 pm 
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#14 7/8 :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:06 am 
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Great scores Jakkie Human and Gryskopvisvanger! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:32 am 
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I scored 8/8 for #14 :dance: :dance: :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Okiedokie folkies. Time for the answers to Challenge #14.

There were 13 participants, 4 of whom nailed it with a full score. Well done Johan van Rensburg, Dugong, barryels and Ladybirder :clap: In general, you guys did very well in this challenge with the average score being 6.8 out of 8. :thumbs_up: Three of the birds were correctly identified by everybody.

So, let's proceed to the answers. I'll give some ID pointers on separating each bird from it's main confusion candidate but if you are still unsure as to why the bird is not what you thought it was, ask away and I'll try to give some pointers.

Image
Bird 1: Hartlaub's Babbler. Every single one of you identified this one correctly. Once you've spotted that it is a Babbler, the white rump and the red eye are the giveaways.

Image
Bird 2: Brown Firefinch. Again, identified correctly by everybody. I was hoping that someone might slip up and call it a Red-billed Firefinch but the absence of red on the flanks, belly and tail are just too obvious.

Image
Bird 3: Rufous-bellied Heron. Identified correctly by all but one participant who ID'ed it as Common Moorhen. I can see why one might make that mistake if you have no sense of the size of the bird but the rufous upper wing coverts and belly helps here. Also, next time you see a Common Moorhen out of the water, have a look at the feet, they're enormous! When they swim around in the water you tend to forget what monstrous feet they hide underneath.

Image
Bird 4: Common Scimitarbill. Identified correctly by 11 out of 13 participants. A number of you identified it as a juvenile bird but it is in fact an adult. While a yellow gape is often an indication of a young bird, adult Scimitarbills actually do have a yellow gape. Also, this bird was photographed very early in the morning with the light being a lovely warm colour which gave the bird a coppery sheen.

Of course I didn't deduct any points for aging the bird incorrectly but even if that was important, I do not believe this picture shows the longer, more decurved bill and darker plumage well enough to rule out a juvenile bird. I happen to know it was an adult because I spent a fair amount of time with the bird. :wink:

Image
Bird 5: Northern Grey-headed Sparrow. This bird was one of two that fooled most of you with only 8 participants getting it right. The incorrect answers ranged from the expected Southern Grey-headed Sparrow to Great Sparrow, Black-headed Canary and Red-backed Shrike. This bird is separated from the usual suspect, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, by having a much heavier bill, no white wing bar, white throat and ever so slightly longer tail.

Image
Bird 6: Green Sandpiper. Cool bananas! This bird was correctly identified by everybody. Considering the frequency with which I receive pictures of Wood Sandpipers asking whether they could be Green Sandpipers, I expected this bird to be misidentified by at least some participants. Maybe this illustrates how you may sometimes be scratching your head when looking at a Wood Sandpiper, thinking it may be Green, but when you see a Green Sandpiper, you know it's a Green Sandpiper. This principle holds true more often than you may think. Lots of people get confused by oddly plumaged Ruff, thinking they're Redshanks, but once you see a Redshank you won't wonder whether it is or isn't one.

Image
Bird 7: Souza's Shrike. This was the other bird that proved the toughest in the challenge with only 8/13 correct answers. It's told apart from Red-backed Shrike in having a significantly longer tail and a white wing bar.

Yes, some of you have even picked up on the fact that a fair number of these birds are all northern Namibian species. I was a bit lazy to go trawl my archives for pictures so I drew mainly from my recent Dec trip to northern Namibia :D

Image
Bird 8: Bearded Vulture. Correctly identified by 11/13 participants. I deliberately darkened the image and removed some contrast so as to hide plumage features. I specifically wanted to prompt you towards identifying the bird based on its silhouette and you did well. That long, almost paddle-like tail can belong to only one species.

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Last edited by deefstes on Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Challenge #15

You guys didn't seem to be particularly daunted by last week's challenge so I've decided to up the difficulty a notch with this one. Also, this week's challenge hides 3 bonus points and one bird can earn you the regular full point or half a point. If you aren't confused yet you're just not paying attention :D

Enough waffling, here we go:

Bird 1
Image

Bird 2
Image

Bird 3
Image

Bird 4
Image

Bird 5
Image

Bird 6
Image

Bird 7
Image

Bird 8
Image

Bird 9
Image

Bird 10
Image

And that's it. Have fun and PM me your answers before Friday 26 Apr.

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