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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:34 am 
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This bird has caused lots of discussion over the last year or more and there have been loads of suggestions as to its identity. It has been suggested as an aberrant Spur-winged or Long-toed Lapwing, both extremely rare species in this area. There have been suggestions that it is a partially leucistic Blacksmith or White-crowned Lapwing, but these also don't tie up exactly. And then there is the suggestion that it is a Blacksmith x White-crowned Lapwing which is also slightly aberrant. The latter ID is a suggestion that I first put forward about a year ago and, based on all the current evidence I have seen, I am still sticking to that at the moment...

This bird shows fully black primaries and secondaries, a feature which would certainly support Blacksmith Lapwing involved in the parentage. The bird also shows white lesser and median upperwing coverts with mostly black greater upperwing coverts with what appears to be a white trailing edge. That upperwing pattern does not match any local species of Lapwing. Yes, this is an aberrant bird, but a semi-leucistic or semi-albino species would still show the correct pattern on the wing, even if some of the feathers were white. Spur-winged Lapwings have brown upperwing coverts (no black in them at all) and Long-toed Lapwing have white upperwing coverts (also with no black in them), so where does the black come from. The only species that shows some black in the upperwing coverts is White-crowned, hence the suggestion that this may be a hybrid Blacksmith x White-crowned.

I have not heard any recording of this bird’s call, so can’t really comment on that. There is a photo which shows the bird in question alongside Blacksmith Lapwings and it seems pretty much the same size. Spur-winged is a slightly smaller bird and, although it may be difficult to ascertain this when the bird is on its own, next to Blacksmiths it should be noticeable.

I just think we need to look at this realistically – we have an aberrant bird whose plumage does not seem to match any particular species at all. Two very rare contenders are being suggested, both of them semi-albino or semi-leucistic, and both of them EXTREMELY rare in the country. What plumage features and bare part colouration is visible does not match either of these two species spot on. The other 2 contenders being suggested are common in the area. And, although this is an aberrant bird, the plumage features and bare part colouration again do not match either of these two species exactly. The third suggestion is of a hybrid between 2 species which commonly occur in the area and could possibly explain some of the plumage anomalies visible in the photo. I’m afraid that, for now, I am going to take the conservative route on this one and go with the latter, but I would love to be proven wrong...!

Enjoy the continuing puzzle...! That's what makes bird ID such fun... :lol:

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Trevor Hardaker

Last SA lifer: Amsterdam Albatross - 13 Jul '13 - Cape pelagic trip, Western Cape
Last World lifer: Junin Canastero - 24 May '14 - Marcapomacocha, Peru

My wildlife pics and reports: www.hardaker.co.za


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:42 pm 
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Thanks Trevor. It appeared that what you have suggested was correct. I found two adult lapwings (blacksmith and whitecrowned) with 2 hybrid chicks on the H4-1, 1km east of Nkuhlu on 14/3/2012. There are slight variations in the chicks but they are similar to some of the specimens seen before.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Simon Vegter


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Thanks Simon for adding those very useful images and hopefully the answer to what has been a real head-scratcher over the last year or two...

I think we have all learnt a lot out of this extremely interesting bird - I know I certainly have... :thumbs_up:

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Trevor Hardaker

Last SA lifer: Amsterdam Albatross - 13 Jul '13 - Cape pelagic trip, Western Cape
Last World lifer: Junin Canastero - 24 May '14 - Marcapomacocha, Peru

My wildlife pics and reports: www.hardaker.co.za


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:03 pm 
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Sweet.. can we tick it yet?? :lol: :lol:

Black Crowned Lapwing.. :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:15 pm 
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Wow! Thanks Simon - you've finally caught the parents responsible for this puzzle with their offspring in one pic! :clap: The puzzle is finally solved! And Trevor - what a guy to have known this, and stick to your guns - finally we now have the photographic proof. Jungle fever... :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:40 am 
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I wonder :hmz: . Are the offspring fertile? Are we going to see these okies all over the place in a few years time? :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:51 pm 
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I saw one of these Hybrid lapwings at Lake Panic this morning... To me it seems as if this hybridization is not as rare as was initially thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Kruger Lapwing
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:44 am 
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Yip there seem to be a lot of them around! Those naughty lapwings are taking this whole diversity thing way too far :lol:

Image

Also at lake panic.

I also thought juvenile long-toed lapwing when I first saw it, but if it was a juvenile it would have grown up a long time ago :wink: For me the clincher against a juvenile LTL is the fact that the feet of a LTL are quite different... it has really long toes :lol:

This one is a bit too evil to post as a challenge bird :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:37 pm 
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Image

I think I figured out how to post a pic at long last, let see if this works.
Saw this bird at Lake Panic in August. Looks like a Lapwing, maybe a juvenile or maybe cross between two?


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:11 pm 
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I am sure this birdie has been discussed before maretam. Check the thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:07 am 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
I am sure this birdie has been discussed before maretam. Check the thread.


Tough one to find as it is not part of the index... an oversight I will correct today.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:57 am 
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Thanks Johan! didn't have a clue where to start looking.


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