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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:57 am 
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First off, apologies for the bad quallity photos - they were taken after sundown.
Location Bloemfontein in March 2015.
There were at least 30+ of these birds making the most of the flying ants.
At first I thought they were Amur Falcons. But looking at the photos again last night, I realise they are not.

I am now thinking they are Lesser Kestrels?

Image
_MG_1903xx by mittonkarin, on Flickr


Image
_MG_1883xx by mittonkarin, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:16 am 
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Johan van Rensburg wrote:
wildtuinman wrote:
Dusky Indigobird is exceptionally scarce in Kruger, if it does exist in Kruger at all.

I am keen to hear your motivation for this scarcity statement, WTM. Roberts MM, F. Peacock (LBJ's) and SABAP2 show distribution maps to the contrary.

I am in no way suggesting that your ID is wrong, in fact Purple is often indistinguishable from Dusky, although, in this case, the first of jaytea's pix appears to have an orange hue to its legs (not diagnostic, but a good clue...), but maybe that is just my take (eye of the beholder).


Hi Johan, rightly so. All maps show their distribution as such.

I have two motivations:

1. How many African Firefinches (Dusky's host) have you seen in Kruger?

2. To what extend does blood flow to the bare parts of the legs and bill play a role in colouration?

My answers:

1. I have only ever seen 1, in Pafuri. Furthermore to this. In fact, during 3 BBW at Punda we have every time argued the id of Indigobirds in Pafuri and around Punda. So much so, that Richard Sowry and Chris Patton on one occasion called truce on opposing opinions after 30mins arguing! :lol: :lol: African Firefinch's habitat is described in SASOL as thickets on woodland, savanna and riverine scrub which one would associate with places like Kurisa Moyo, Woodbush Forest, Pietermaritzburg and the south and north coast of KZN. Certainly not that of the mopani schrubveld around Mopani. Jameson's Firefinch;'s habitat on the other hand is described as thcikets and grassy tangles in savana and dry wwodland. Now I am not saying for a moment that the Tsendze area south of Mopani is not good for African Firefinch. I have no doubt that it is! The fact that I have also never seen African Firefinch in that area also does not mean that they do not occur there. I just feel that the majority of records for African Firefinch and Dusky Indigobird on SABAP2 are miss-id'ed birds of co-incidentally as colourful as they may be, two of the most common mis-id'ed bird species. The reporting rate for both species are lower than that of Purple Indigobird and Jameson's Firefinch in the Mopani pentad. A classic example of Firefinch miss'id recently popped up on Facebook of a bird photographed at Walter Sisulu botanical gardens in Roodepoort. That id too drew quite a number of comments and the outcome was that it was not an African, but a Jameson's Firefinch.

2. I have personally seen some real experts make a mistake with this feature. I am taking one classic example. A bird at Kgomo-Kgomo. It was id'ed by Rob Geddes as Dusky indigobird and acknowledged as such by Etienne Marais. Co-incidently I saw the exact same bird (I knew it to be the same bird, because the twig it was sitting on on Rob's photo was the exact same twig showing on my photo!) the day before Rob saw it and was flabbergasted at how the leg colour changed from pale to very pink/orange. The excitement of the bird and accompanied blood flow alters the bare part colouration big time. I have since witnessed it on quite a few occasions with the latest being in Mooketsi earlier this year. I looked at the bird through the bins and its leg colouration changed right in front of my eyes!

Here are my photos of Purple Indigobirds.

The first bird is the Kgomo-Kgomo bird discussed above.

Image

The second bird is a Kruger bird snapped at Punda Maria.

Image

Note the pink/orange leg colouration.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:21 pm 
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Great write up WTM and I have to agree here for what my opinion is worth. I have only ever seen African Firefinches around higher altitude forest area's and coastal forests such as Moegabaskloof and the south coast of KZN.

That being said, I am still(until proven wrong) convinced about my sightings of African Firefinch around BergnDal a few years ago. If they are in fact African Firefinches, and I think that habitat suits them better, it might go to show that Dusky could be found in those parts of the park.

I can remember the debates of that BBW WTM. It never came to a conclusion.

Anyway, here are my African Firefinches from BnD. Care to comment?

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:40 pm 
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Do you still remember our team name that year?

"Colourblind indigo spotters"

Daan, I think you have nice proof right there. That grey crown is very distinct. Nicely done!

What makes the Firefinch id so tough, is the fact that they just never sit still for a split second.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:54 pm 
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:lol: Ja we definitely saw way too many Indigobirds that confused the begeezes out of us. I also have the same shot of that Pruple Indigobird that troubled us so much at Punda.

Jaytea's bird looks like a young one, but even so I always go with the hard facts when it comes to ID'ing a bird and the Dusky's I have seen show a prominent orange leg, not slightly pink or reddish.. Might not be so prominent in youngsters, but it is so tough with these birds and for that I would not be confident in ticking any bird without seeing a proper ID feature.

I found a Dusky Indigobird at the Barberton Mountain reserve in December and I could still remember thinking to myself that once you see those orange legs you cannot mistake it again.


Hell, but quickly going through google, there are so many wrong ID's of Dusky's it isn't even funny.


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:21 am 
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Please can I have some help with the ID of this bird which I assume is a Juv Swallow, but which one?

Seen in Kruger in Feb this year.

ImageLarge

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:11 pm 
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Looks good for Barn Swallow, Elsa.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Thanks so much WTM. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:09 pm 
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Need help for ID.
Seen in Botswana Chobe NP in May.
I'm confused about the tail. Is it a cape glossy starling or is it a sharp tailed starling???

Image


Thanks in advance
Jaffles

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:50 pm 
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Thanks Joahn, WTM and Dotdan for all your awesome info on the Indigobird/Firefinch riddle!! :gflower:

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