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Bird ID Challenge.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:14 am Unread post
Moegaai wrote
PROMISE!!!

Well, in that case... :lol: :lol:

I agree that an ID is much easier "in real life" as you say, Moegaai. I will keep on having trouble to accept this one as a petronia though, which is unfortunately entirely my problem because you have already promised me it is one.

Anybody else want to keep this one going? Post in the LBJ ID thread maybe?

:popcorn:
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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:42 am Unread post
I think we discovered that the Yellow-throated Petronia is also Parasite - an Appearance Parasite!!! :twisted:


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:09 am Unread post
Sorry for chiming in here guys. I usually don't participate in these challenges so I'm probably not allowed to comment either but I'll risk my neck :lol:

I am, unfortunately, going to have to agree with Joel on this bird. Apart from some plumage features, this bird just doesn't have the giss of a Petronia. Now I know that a single picture might not represent the giss well so I wouldn't base my conclusion purely on that. However, there are a few plumage features that just doesn't sit right for Yellow-throated Petronia.

1. The bill is too conical for a Petronia. Petronia's, like Sparrows are omnivorous birds and they need to poke their bills into little nooks and crannies from time to time to get hold of a juicy insect. This bird's bill clearly belongs to a seedeater.

2. While the eyebrow of the Petronia can be quite variable in prominence it does extend further to the back of the head, almost meeting on the nape. Also, it is narrower at the eye and tapers out towards the back of the head. This bird has a very parallel eyebrow if that makes any sense. The Petronia actually has a double eyebrow with a darker band underneath the pale band. This bird has only the one eyebrow with some facial markings underneath.

3. Yellow-throated Petronia has very dark legs, like those of Cape Sparrow. This bird has pale brown legs, like those of a House Sparrow (or Long-tailed Paradise Whydah).

4. One very good feature which is visible but perhaps not commonly noticed, is the patterns on the wing coverts, first of all the wing bars formed by the buff tips of the feathers and secondly the actual patterns on the individual feathers.

4.a. The tips of the median coverts are tipped buff in the Petronia which produces an upper wing bar (although not like that of the Petronia but I have no idea how to explain so ignore that for the moment). The second wing bar is absent though as the tips of the greater coverts are not buffy. The edges are buffy though but see the next point.

4.b. I wouldn't even know how to begin trying to describe the actual pattern on the coverts so I drew a quick picture and scanned it in. I'm no artist by any stretch of the imagination but I hope this will get the point across.
Image
The feather on the left is tipped white along the sides with the dark central part extending like a lance to the tip of the feather. This is typically the type of pattern you see on Pipit coverts and the bird in the picture also have such a pattern to the coverts. The feather on the right is "properly" tipped white and the way that the coverts on Yellow-throated Petronia is tipped.

Try to find some pictures online and see if you can spot this very subtle feature or any of the other features for that matter.

One last comment. While the picture doesn't give any impression of size I just wanted to point out that the Yellow-throated Petronia is actually a fairly sizeable bird. I'm not talking Long-tailed Widow size but it is bigger than Cape-, House- or Grey-headed Sparrow and comparable in size to Greater Sparrow. Whydahs, conversely, are small and dainty birds. Like I said, the size is of no help if looking at this picture but in the field it would be reasonably apparent.

I have birded with both Moegaai and Imax and I can vouch for their keen eyes and their ability to ID birds so I don't want to rail them for this one. I wouldn't be surprised if more comes to light on this bird but personally, based on the evidence at hand, I would have to conclude that this bird is not a Yellow-throated Petronia but rather a Whydah and most probably Long-tailed Paradise.

And this is not payback for Moegaai pwning me on that Scaly-throated Honeyguide the other day that I got so spectacularly wrong :lol:


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:18 am Unread post
Hey deefstes, thanks so much for your elaborate input. You have conclusively proven that I was way too lazy in discussing this bird with Moegaai.

deefstes wrote
I am, unfortunately, going to have to agree with Joel...

But what does this mean... :shock: :P


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:20 am Unread post
JoelR wrote
deefstes wrote
I am, unfortunately, going to have to agree with Joel...

But what does this mean... :shock: :P

It's simple, I like Moegaai better than you :twisted:

Oh, there's another thing I wanted to point out. Yellow-throated Petronia is, as far as my experience go (and I will be quick to remind you that I got it wrong on the Honeyguide :wink: ), rather associated with broadleafed bushveld and also a more open ground cover. Zaagkuildrift offers classic Acacia thornveld and pretty extensive ground cover. While I'm not saying that the Petronia cannot occur there, I would much rather expect to see them in Borakalalo or Seringveld where there is some nice Burkea, Terminalia or Combretums.

I'm not sure how the Petronia would feel about something like Boscia Albitrunca as there are lots of those around but other than that ZKD is very much an Acacia thornveld.


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:30 am Unread post
deefstes wrote
JoelR wrote
deefstes wrote
I am, unfortunately, going to have to agree with Joel...

But what does this mean... :shock: :P

It's simple, I like Moegaai better than you :twisted:

Fair enough. :roll:


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:00 pm Unread post
Deefstes, same comment goes for you as for Joel - you can't comment if you don't take part!!! :twisted:

Hmmm... Suddenly you guys make me really wonder about this one.... :hmz: I'm not yet going to concede the ID to you guys, but want to chat to Imax about it. Deefstes, at least I'm pleased that you "unfortunately" agree with Joel! :tongue: :lol:

Here's the bottom line. We DEFINITELY saw YTP on the Crake Rd. FYI, where we saw it, it was on the edge of the grassy floodplain and the grassy savannah that is there, and fairly sparse. I'm not going to go into what kind of trees are there, as I just don't know! But habitat was spot-on for that area - "Woodland, savanna, bushveld, riverine bush, exotic plantations (especially wattles); usually with sparse ground cover". But agree about the GISS, even though the angle made it tricky...

This pic makes me wonder if we got ourselves mixed up with the pic and the ID, but I specifically remember Imax taking this pic where we saw the YTP. :huh:

Will get back to you on this one! :lol:


Last edited by Moegaai on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:28 pm Unread post
Oh dear - big debate!

I put YTP after looking at Trevor Hardaker's photos.

Who has the boxing gloves?? :wink:

Ah well I got 9/10 at the mo - maybe Imax took more than one and can post them later.


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:31 pm Unread post
Moegaai, I like your handling of a disputed ID. As Deefstes points out with the honeyguide issue, even experts can get it wrong. I know the jury is still out on this one, but we are all learning from it


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:52 pm Unread post
Cherries, thanks for the support!!! :lol: This is a very nice one to debate! :thumbs_up:

And Eugene, thanks for the compliment! I am always willing to concede an ID, as we all make mistakes - Deefstes is the best example of this!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Seriously, I'm going to look at this over the weekend. The reality is that on the day of the sighting, I was the one that confidently made the call on this one, so will feel a bit embarrassed for the wrong impression I might have given Imax on this one! :slap: He he he...

My next thought is this: if we conclude it's in fact the LTPW, how will this affect the scores!?


Last edited by Moegaai on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:38 pm Unread post
OK, I've seen the whole YTP debate and i dont agree with Moegaai!

Rather than participate should the guys with the top life lists not rather run the quiz? :twisted:

As to the YTP, I stand with Moegaai on this one, 4 of us saw the bird and all of us unanimously called it as a YTP. Granted that the angle and light in the photo is horrendous.

But i will also say that i am also mature enough about my birding to concede if i am wrong, so if the experts feel this is not a YTP, ill gladly adjust the scores!


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:02 am Unread post
Seems that challenge 32 was quite easy!

Here are the answers"

1 Villiage Weaver - Yellow crown extending to the beak
2 Eastern Nicator-Bill hooked at tip, pale yellow wing spots
3 African Darter- Straight bill, rufous neck, white cheek stripe
4 Brown headed Kingfisher - All red bill.
5 African Mourning Dove - Red eyering, yellow eye
6 Three-banded Courser - 3 neck and chest bands
7 White- backed Mousebird - Bluish white bill and red legs
8 Levaillants Cuckoo - Striped throat
9 Red-throated Wryneck - Chestnut throat
10 Red-headed Finch - white spotting on breast and belly
10a Red -capped Lark - Rufous cap, white underparts,rufous side breast patch
10b Grey-backed Sparrowlark - M white earpatch, sandy wings. F pale collar extends around ear.


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:26 am Unread post
Bird ID Challenge # 33:

# 1:
Image
Larger Image

# 2:
Image
Larger Image

# 3:
Image
Larger Image

# 4:
Image
Larger Image

# 5:
Image
Larger Image

# 6:
Image
Larger Image

# 7:
Image
Larger Image

# 8:
Image
Larger Image

# 9:
Image
Larger Image

# 10:
Image
Larger Image

Remember to submit your answers to the one that posted the week’s challenge!

Good luck!


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:23 am Unread post
Oh geez! :redface:

Sorry, Iposted this at like 6 am, leaving for the coast at 7 am!

We had 14 entries and the difficulty level was 1 - very easy

1 Villiage Weaver - Yellow crown extending to the beak (14)
2 Eastern Nicator-Bill hooked at tip, pale yellow wing spots (13)
3 African Darter- Straight bill, rufous neck, white cheek stripe (13)
4 Brown headed Kingfisher - All red bill. (13)
5 African Mourning Dove - Red eyering, yellow eye (14)
6 Three-banded Courser - 3 neck and chest bands (14)
7 White- backed Mousebird - Bluish white bill and red legs (14)
8 Levaillants Cuckoo - Striped throat (11)
9 Red-throated Wryneck - Chestnut throat (13)
10 Red-headed Finch - white spotting on breast and belly (14)
10a Red -capped Lark - Rufous cap, white underparts,rufous side breast patch (11)
10b Grey-backed Sparrowlark - M white earpatch, sandy wings. F pale collar extends around ear.(13)


Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

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Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:33 pm Unread post
If you have not made a submission for #33 yet, please still do so. I am putting no 34 up as i will be on the road most of tomorrrow and wont have a chance.

Enjoy it

Challenge 34
# 1
Image
Larger Image

# 2
Image
Larger Image

#3
Image
Larger Image

#4
Image
Larger Image Photo by Bob Lewis

#5
Image
Larger Image

#6
Image
Larger Image

#7
Image
Larger Image

#8
Image
Larger Image

#9
Image
Larger Image

#10
Image
Larger Image
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