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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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barryels
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby barryels » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:15 pm

Here are the answers to challenge #1 of 2014.

Thanks to everybody for your participation :thumbs_up: .

We had 14 ‘mites participating in this challenge. The BB was included to kick off the new year’s challenges which is not normal for the Bird ID Challenge.

Two had 8/8 plus the BB
Three had 7/8 plus the BB
One had 7/8 but missed the BB
Six had 6/8 plus BB
Two had 4/8 plus BB

Most of the misses during this challenge was No’s 3, 7 and 8.

#1 Dark-capped Bulbul

Ad: Top of head, face and chin dark brown, fading to paler brown on throat and ear coverts. Feathers on back of head slightly elongated to form erectile crest. Remainder of upper parts and wing coverts drab greyish brown. Vent and undertail coverts bright yellow. Bill black. Eyes dark brown; narrow (0.9-1.0 mm) eye ring black.

Image

#2 Purple Roller

Ad: Upper parts mainly dark olive green, with conspicuous white supercilium extending into white frons; small pale patch on hind crown. Rump bluish purple. Tail square, purple-blue, with dark greenish centre. Sides of head and chin to breast pale purple-brown, heavily streaked white. Lower flanks, belly and undertail coverts unstreaked and bluer than breast. Marginal upper wing coverts pale pink, lesser and median coverts bright lilac to dark purple, greater coverts vinaceous-brown; primary coverts and alula purple.

Image

#3 Yellow-billed Kite (M. m. parasitus) All Yellow Bill

As I understand there are lots of issues with reference to combining the two birds as one but it still did not happen. Sexes alike in plumage coloration. Uniquely among s African birds, the 2 common subspp have entrenched common names - Black Kite (nominate; long distance Palaearctic-br migrant) and Yellow-billed Kite (M. m. parasitus, short-distance intra-African br migrant).

Ad: Overall dull brown, head grey. Upper wing with broad pale band extending back from carpal joint, forming shallow 'V'. Bill black (Black Kite Palaearctic), cere yellow. Eyes grey, pale brown or pale yellow. Legs yellow. Confusing species: None. [Note: Ad M. m. parasitus has darker head, and usually all-yellow bill.

Image

#4 Green-winged Pytillia

Ad male: Frons, forecrown and cheeks scarlet; hind crown, lores, remainder of face and nape grey. Mantle, back and rump yellowish olive green; upper tail coverts red. Central rectrices reddish, remainder grey-brown, washed red, especially on outer edges. Upper wing coverts yellowish olive green. Flight feathers grey-brown, edged yellowish olive green. Throat scarlet. Upper breast greenish gold; remainder of underparts barred grey and white, centre of belly and undertail coverts more diffuse and buffy. Bill orange-red, non-br male with ridge dark horn. Eyes reddish orange, red-brown or scarlet; eye ring pale grey, narrow. Legs and feet pinkish to greyish brown.

Image

#5 Chin-spot Batis

Ad male: Crown and nape grey. Lores black, extending in patch around eyes and across ear coverts to hind neck; separated from forecrown by white supercilium extending to above eye. Mantle, back and scapulars bluish grey, mantle edged black; rump and upper tail coverts grey. Tail black, outermost rectrices edged white on outer web, tipped white on inner web. Wings black. Median and inner greater coverts broadly tipped white, combining with white edges to inner secondaries to form prominent wing bar. Underparts, incl throat and sides of neck, white, apart from broad, but variable-width black breast band. Bill black. Eyes yellow, orange or scarlet. Legs and feet black.

Image

#6 Baillons Crake

Ad: Top of head and hind neck red-brown, indistinctly streaked blackish. Face and sides of neck bluish slate. Remainder of upper parts, incl scapulars, tertials, most wing coverts and tail, red-brown, with broad black and narrow white streaks. Flight feathers and primary coverts dark grey-brown; axillaries and underwing coverts dark greyish brown, indistinctly barred white. Chin to upper belly bluish slate, lower belly barred grey and white. Bill dark green to greenish grey, darker on upper mandible. Eyes red. Legs and feet olive green or greenish grey, rarely yellowish.

Image

#7 Cape Penduline-tit

Ad: Frons and forehead grizzled black and white, colour extending back into short supercilium. Lores black, extending as narrow black band across base of bill; narrow black eye stripe extends just behind eye. Cheeks and anterior ear coverts whitish. Remainder of upper parts pale brownish grey. Tail darker grey-brown, rectrices edged buffy. Upper wing coverts dark grey-brown; primary coverts narrowly edged greyish buff, greater coverts with broader pale edges, and lesser coverts with broad grey tips. Flight feathers dark grey-brown, narrowly edged greyish (broadest on inner secondaries). Chin and throat white; breast, belly and undertail coverts pale buffy yellow. Bill black, horn, or grey to blue-grey. Eyes yellowish brown, eye ring whitish. Legs and feet black, slate or dark cobalt blue.

Image

#8 Pearlbreasted Swallow

Ad: Forehead to upper tail coverts glossy blue-back, with slight purplish wash. Lores and ear coverts dull blue-black. Tail black, less glossy than back, rarely with some diffuse white on outer rectrices; latter elongated, tapering. Wings brownish black, with blue gloss, most pronounced on coverts. Lesser and median underwing coverts grey-brown; axillaries and greater underwing coverts white. Chin, throat and underparts dull white, breast and flanks with grey wash; small blackish patch extends from neck onto either side of breast. Some dark shaft streaks on lower breast and belly; undertail coverts with dark shafts and tips, and sometimes additional dark bar separated from dark tip by subterminal white bar. Bill black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet black. Juv: As ad, but upper parts duller, gloss largely restricted to head and mantle. Outer rectrices shorter. Innermost secondaries tipped white. Confusing species: Common House Martin has white (not blue-black) rump. White-throated Swallow has rufous forehead and complete breast band.

Image

BB Levaillant’s Cuckoo

Ad pied morph: Head and upper parts black with greenish sheen, most apparent on wing, tail coverts and tail. Tail strongly graduated, outer 2 pairs of rectrices broadly tipped white in fresh plumage. Primaries black, white on basal half visible on folded wing as conspicuous, broad (20-30 mm) white patch. Underparts creamy or greyish white, streaked black on throat and breast, streaks narrower and more widely spaced on belly. Much individual variation in streaking below; throat and breast lightly or heavily streaked, thighs and flanks plain or variably streaked. Bill black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet bluish grey.

Image

Read more about:

1. Dark-capped Bulbul
2. Purple Roller
3. Yellow-billed Kite
4. Green-winged Pytillia
5. Chin-spot Batis
6. Baillon's Crake
7. Cape Penduline-Tit
8. Pearl-breasted Swallow
BB: Levaillant's Cuckoo
Always be humble and understanding

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Imax
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Imax » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:59 pm

In addition to Micetta's post it is very difficult to tell these two batis males apart and the key feature would be the locality as they are pretty much mutually exlusive. From my experience I probably have located most of my Pririts based on call, again something that you cannot hear in this challenge, but an excellent id feature.

But there is a good lesson in having this bird in the challenge, which is based on visual features, in re-afirming that an ID is based on the sum of all the parts: physical features, sound, behaviour, habitat, range etc.

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Imax » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:53 pm

Challenge 3/2014

Slightly earlier as I know work will interfere tomorrow, and a few beers after work will have me forget fo'sure.


This challenge contains 13 birds to ID . Have fun.


#1 Image

#2 Image

#3 Image

#4 Image

#5 Image

#6 Image

Link to larger image for when you have suffered long enough on ID’ing on pixels
Last edited by Imax on Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Pumbaa » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:13 pm

I still owe you the answers to the bird challenge No. 02/14

Totally I had 15 participants. :k

No. 1
Image
Brown Snake Eagle

No. 2
Image
Dark Caped Bulbul

No. 3
Image
Cardinal Woodpecker

No. 4
Image
European bee Eater

No. 5
Image
Namaqua Dove

No. 6
Image
Southern White Crowned Shrike, juvenile

No. 7
Image
Spotted Eagle Owl

No. 8
Image
Green (redbilled) Wood-hoopoe

No. 9
Image
Red-billed Quelea

No. 10
Image helmeted shrike
White Crested Helmet Shrike

Read more about:

1. Brown Snake-Eagle
2. Dark-capped Bulbul
3. Cardinal Woodpecker
4. European Bee-eater
5. Namaqua Dove
6. Southern White-crowned Shrike
7. Spotted Eagle-Owl
8. Green Wood-Hoopoe
9. Red-billed Quelea
10. White-crested Helmet-Shrike

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Imax » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:41 am

Well, here are the correct answers. (Please see Challenge no 3 above for pictures of the birds.)

I had 15 entries and the average was 11/13

#1 Juv Cape Canary (5) This was the hardest one of all. Firstly there is a behavioural clue that eliminates the most chosen alternative of Forrest Canary. Forrest Canary’s very much bound to the lower levels of forest and forest fringes, and unless a fence go through the forest, one would almost never find one sitting on a wire. On features, Forrest Canary is a stockier or “dumpier” bird, which does not fit the long sleek appearance of this canary. Probably the thing that got most of you is that this bird does not display any features that indicates is a juvenile bird. Other ID features is the very yellow under tail, and no prominent eye-brow.


#2 Fem Yellow Bishop (13) Almost all had this one correct. The lighter streaking on the neck becoming heavier to the breast and the yellow wing coverts are key features


#3 Little Sparrowhawk (14) Three white spots on the tail is the dead give-away for this bird

#4 Karoo scrub-Robin (11) Posture in the photo is probably what confused some. That white eyebrow with the white moustache stripe is the key identifiers, with the grey overall colour.


#5 Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk (7) – Bad light on the photo did not help, but this is how I most often see them early mornings. Difficult to see on the photo, but Rock Kestrel has yellow around the eye where RCS has I distinct orange eye. On rock kestrel the grey head extends down onto the bottom of the head, and RCS only to below the eye


#6 Photo 6 is a good exercise in identifying by giss and then by individual markings. The challenge here is to first see how many different “shapes of birds” there are. All of the species are relatively straightforward and common species:
23 Cattle Egret (15) of which one is a juvenile
20 Black Heron (14) (a few hidden behind others)
8 Glossy Ibis, (13) – Not Bald as the white faces and red crowns would have been visible
8 White Faced Duck, (15)
1 Little egret, (10) The most difficult one to spot – a bit more slender than the cattle and black legs with yellow feet.
1 Yellow-billed stork, (14)
1 Blacksmith Lapwing, (14) – Interesting a number of mentions of almost missing it. I did so myself. So why don’t we “see” them?
1 Red billed Teal (12)
Image

Read more about:

1. Cape Canary
2. Yellow Bishop
3. Little Sparrowhawk
4. Karoo Scrub-Robin
5. Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk
6. Cattle Egret
Black Heron
Glossy Ibis
White-faced Duck
Little Egret
Yellow-billed Stork
Blacksmith Lapwing
Red-billed Teal
Last edited by Imax on Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:08 pm

Putting together the answers kept me busy a little longer than anticipated.

So, who is going to be Mom? :lol: :lotsocoffee:

My first challenge for the year tested some of the ‘mites more than others… I have made peace with the tendency of ‘mites to ignore the challenge when it becomes more tougher than usual. This time I received quite a few apologies from ‘mites saying that time is too tight for them to complete the challenge. :hmz:

I received 12 entries for Challenge 4 of 2014.

Three ‘mites share the top score of 9/10.

The lowest score for this very testing challenge was 3.5/10. At average 62.5% this actually turns out to be a very good result for the class, considering that I really tried to put together the hardest test I could!


Bird #1 – Kalahari Scrub Robin. [9] It was surprising to me that not many more ‘mites faltered on this bird. It is a very difficult angle and if you failed to realise from the giss that it is a robin of sorts, it was unlikely that your ID would come close. The eyebrow, hint of rufous upper tail and the stiking undertail pattern were the main ID features.

Image

Bird #2 – Temminck's Couser, Juvenile. [11] You found this one easy.

Image

Bird #3 – Yellow-billed Duckling [7] A is usual, when one has to make a call on a chick, the ballgame becomes tougher than normal. However, with this duckling, the bill pattern is already showing up and was the most significant feature to make the correct ID.

Image

Bird #4 – Gabar goshawk [10]. The underwing pattern of most raptors is like an ID card. Most of you got this one right.

Image

The two species’ nests that can be seen in the image were red-billed buffalo-weaver and lesser masked weaver nests. Some fieldguides have drawings showing the typical nest shapes…

Bird #5 – Cuckoo finch, female. Nobody got this one. I am not aware of any fieldguide that has adequate descriptions or illustrations. The narrow, pale median line over the centre of the crown, the short, deep bill (contrary to general belief, NOT dark or black like that of the male!), with the upper mandible bowed along the ventral line, extending onto the crown. This feature distinguishes it from female Euplectes spp, which they resemble.

Image

Bird #6 – European Sand Martin [7]. This is the only brown martin with no eyebrow and a white throat.

Image

Bird #7 – Melodious Lark [4] Second most difficult bird to ID. If you have seen one, the hunched over giss would have stuck with you. However, the prominent eyebrow is a handy feature that narrows the choice down drastically. The daintier pinkish bill with its decurve helps to distinguish it from Sabota Lark.

Image

Bird #8 – Black-throated Canary [9]. Here the ‘mites must applaud their effort! I really expected this challenge bird to stump a few more… The yellow bits popping out from under the wings should have made you look at the canaries. This is the only canary with mottled grey uppers and a white-tipped tail.

Image

Bird #9 – Grey-winged francolin. As expected the “easy” bird got 9 correct entries. It got confused with red-winged francolin which it resembles a bit. I learned something from Ladybirder who explained her choice, “no yellow on the bill”. First time I notice that! (Note going into my ID features file…) Another clincher is that the facial mask does not contain any white, especially in the eyebrow.

Image

There were some sneaky shots here, but the three ‘mites that got 9/10 showed that it was fair…

I hope you enjoyed the challenge. At least I got rid of all my toughies!
:lol:

Read more about:

1. Kalahari Scrub-Robin
2. Temminck's Courser
3. Yellow-billed Duck
4. Gabar Goshawk
5. Cuckoo Finch
6. Sand Martin
7. Melodious Lark
8. Black-throated Canary
9. Grey-winged Francolin
676 Latest lifers: Short-clawed lark, Caspian plover, Western marsh harrier, Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Sky » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:38 pm

This turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be
The were no 10/10 , 1 9/10 and a couple 0f 8 and 7s.

1) Everyone had the correct id for this bird
An African Crake that I was lucky enough to spot between Orpen and Satara
Much shorter billed than larger African Rail. Grey throat and barred belly distinctive
Image
2) A Wattled Starling - This bird caused some troubles
Head featherless with large black wattle on forehead and throat, and bright yellow hindcrown. F & M (non-br) Pale whitish grey with diagnostic white rump. Wing and tail feathers black in ♂, brownish in ♀. Juv. Like ♀, bill initially yellow.
Image
3 A Kittlits Plover that I saw on the Capricorn Loop north of Mopanie
Combination of buffy breast, white neck collar, and greenish-black legs distinctive. Non-br. Black head markings usually brown (variable), eyebrow and collar buffy. Juv. Like non-br adult, lacks black head markings and upperparts with scaled appearance
Image
4 A Rattling Cisticola taken at Leeupan in KNP (Bosveldtinktinkie)
Robust with few distinguishing features other than having a mottled greyish brown back; call and habitat however distinctive. Br. Crown russet, underparts greyish brown, and flanks with greyish wash. Non-br. Crown more reddish, and underparts darker buff. Crown less rufous than Tinkling Cisticola
Image
5) A Juvenikle Jackal Buzzard taken in KTP - I should have posted a pic that showed it's legs. This would have changed many ids
Very distinctive with the typical thickset buzzard stance, blackish upperparts, rufous breast and mottled dark grey and white underparts. Uncommon white-breasted, and black breasted morphs occur; white-breasted morphs have breast and sometimes entire underparts white; separated from Augur Buzzards by dark underwing coverts. Rare dark morphs have underparts mostly black. Juv. Plumage brown; separated from smaller ad Common Buzzard by unbarred buffy brown underparts and undertail. Juv: Head and upper parts warm brown. Tail longer than ad; upper tail pale rufous, with narrow dark barring. Upper wing coverts warm brown, tipped buff. Flight feathers grey-brown, finely barred with dark brown. Underwing coverts and underparts uniform rufous, buff or whitish, with dark shaft streaks, fading with wear29. Underparts buffy brown; undertail grey, with indistinct darker barring28,61. Eyes whitish, pale yellow or pale brown61
Image
6) A Lark-like Bunting - the most common id was a Black-throated canary I'll give you Ladybirders explanation

buffy on chest, legs pale pink, inconspicuous eyebrow,2 coloured bill

Image
7) a Lesser Swamp-warbler Upper parts warm brown; head and hind neck greyer and darker, rump redder. Supercilium whitish, conspicuous; lores and ear coverts greyish brown. Tail dark brown, edged buffy brown. Greater wing coverts and flight feathers dark brown, edged buffy brown; lesser wing coverts warm brown. Axillaries and underwing coverts pale brown. Chin to breast whitish; belly, flanks and undertail coverts warm buff. Bill blackish horn, base yellowish. Eyes brown. Legs and feet dark greenish horn or bluish horn, soles yellow. Juv: As ad. Confusing species: Greater Swamp Warbler has supercilium greyish, indistinct (not whitish, distinct) and underparts greyish (not whitish)
Image
8 ) A Juvenile African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)
The largest grey hawk in the region. Head small with yellow face and long thin yellow legs. Facial skin flushes pink or reddish during social interactions, especially in br season. Juv. Dark brown with small head;
Image
9) A Rufous-naped Lark
A fairly large, robust lark, with short erectile crest and rufous flight feathers; rufous nape visible only at close quarters. (M. a. africana) Ad: Crown rufous-brown, streaked dark brown; hind crown feathers elongate and rufous, forming distinctive crest. Broad creamy-buff supercilium merges with buffy lores; dark eye stripe behind eye. Cheeks buffy, finely streaked dark brown; faint moustachial stripe. Sides of neck buffy, speckled brown. Feathers of nape and hind-neck grey-brown, finely streaked dark brown. Mantle rufous-brown, streaked brown, feathers with dark centres; back darker brown than mantle. Rump dark brown, indistinctly streaked; upper tail coverts grey-brown, with dark blackish-brown centres. Tail dark brown, outer webs of outermost rectrices buff. Flight feathers dark brown, inner webs rufous at base, outer webs rufous toward tips, forming panel in folded wing. Scapulars rufous-brown, with blackish centres; tertials dark brown, with pale buff fringes bordered by narrow, dark inner margin. Upper wing coverts dark brown, edged buff and rufous. Underwing rufous. Chin buff, throat whitish. Breast pale rufous, spotted and streaked darker brown; remainder of underparts rufous-buff, flanks slightly darker. Bill brown to blackish horn, lower mandible with paler base; fairly long, heavy at base. Eyes pale hazel. Legs and feet pink to pinkish brown10.
Image
10) a Juvenile White-throated Robin-chat - I saw it with it's parents That made the id very easy
) Ad: Crown dark grey; white supercilium extends over black ear coverts. Lores and sides of neck black. Hindneck to lower back dark grey. Rump and tail rufous, latter with broad, black terminal band; central pair of rectrices black. Greyish-black wings have distinctive white bar across shoulder (inner secondary and lesser coverts) extending to outer webs of tertials. Chin to vent pure white, flanks and undertail coverts cinnamon. Bill, eyes, legs and feet black. Imm: As ad, but retains juv flight feathers. Juv: Head buffy, with fine black mottling; lacks supercilium. Upper parts blackish brown, mottled buffy orange. Wings lack shoulder bar. Underparts buffy, feathers tipped black
Image
so 10 Birds to keep you busy for 5 minutes :D :D[/quote]

Read more about:

1. African Crake
2. Wattled Starling
3. Kittlitz's Plover
4. Rattling Cisticola
5. Jackal Buzzard
6. Lark-like Bunting
7. Lesser Swamp-Warbler
8. African Harrier-Hawk
9. Rufous-naped Lark
10. White-throated Robin-Chat
25 December - Lower Sabie
26 - 31st satara
1 Jan 2016 Skukuza

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Imax
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Imax » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:18 am

It seems that I have put up a challenge somewhat tougher than I anticipated. Right at the end I finally had a full marks!! The average was 7/10 over the 12 participants.

#1 African Cuckoo (7) The most common alternatives were Common Cuckoo, which should not have the yellow in the bill extend over the nostril, or Red-chested Cuckoo, which must have red from half the neck downwards.
Image

#2 Pale Form Tawny Eagle (8) It has a light white line at the edge of the primary coverts, with a lighter window panel. Key distinguisher from Booted Eagle is the full dark tail, where Booted will only have a terminal band.
Image

#3 Broad Tailed Warbler (10) Most had this one right, but the scalloping under the tail, with the large unkempt tail is the key feature.
Image

#4 Sombre Greenbull (3) The most difficult one this week. Giss is that of the buls. Uniform olive green uppers narrows it to the Greenbuls. Although this is a young bird, the eye is already the distinct pale of that of a Sombre.
Image

#5 Black Winged Pratincole (10) Most had this one right.
Image

#6 Red Collared Widowbird (7) – Again this was a very tricky bird. The Giss should point one in the right direction, but then the fact that the bird is in transition really makes it difficult. This particular bird has much more yellow in its breast than I have ever encountered. Usually looking at what species are alongside can often narrow it down, but in the particular location all 4 South African Widowbirds are present. A fairly regular feature of Red-collared transition is the deeply forked tail which is the most reliable feature to distinguish it from the other.
Image

#7 Streakyheaded seedeater (6) This one was significantly more difficult than I expected. The heavy streaked head is the key feature, coupled to the white brow and dark cheeks, and white breast with no black on the throat.
Image

8 Lesser Striped swallow (6) The answers on this one floored me so much that I started doubting my own id. It obviously is a striped swallow. The bad light is what makes it more difficult, but the striping is just too heavy for Greater. The main thing to have looked out for is the rufous extending down the rump of the bird. With the bad light it is more of a dark patch, but this you will not see on Greater
Image

#9 Pearlbreasted swallow (10) Metallic blue uppers and white breast narrows it to Common House Martin or Pearlbreasted Swallow. There is a black, not metallic facial band from the bill, over the eyes to the ear, which distinguishes it from the Martin
Image

#10 Double Banded Courser (11) Most have this right. There is no prominent eyebrow, and the start of the two bands on the chest is just visible.
Image

Read more about:

1. African Cuckoo
2. Tawny Eagle
3. Broad-tailed Warbler unfortunately not on the index yet.
4. Sombre Greenbul
5. Black-winged Pratincole
6. Red-collared Widowbird
7. Streaky-headed Seedeater
8. Lesser-striped Swallow
9. Pearl-breasted Swallow
10. Double-banded Courser
Last edited by Imax on Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby MattAxel » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:05 am

Here are the answers to challenge #7 of 2014

Well done to all who participated :thumbs_up:

A total of 16 mites took part, with an average score of 62%, so overall quite a tough challenge.
Well done to Cois Cois and Gryskopvisvanger for getting the top scores :clap:

#1
Image
Kittlitz's Plover (juv)
This one caused quite a few problems and was mainly confused with the Sand Plover species. The longer tibia are more characteristic of Kittlitz’s than the Sand Plovers, but the clincher here is the visible buff nunchal collar which is a distinctive feature of Kittlitz’s Plover.

#2
Image
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver (juv)
This one didn’t cause many problems. The bill shape, overall black colouring with white edges to the primary and white shoulder patch all point to Red-billed Buffalo Weaver.

#3
Image
Red-faced Cisticola
The GISS and long tail should get you to the Cisticolas as opposed to Warblers. The unmarked back eliminates all but a few of the Cisticolas. The rufous cheecks, lack of supercilium and rich buff underparts should get you to Red-faced.

#4
Image
Little Sparrohawk
Not many problems here. An Accipiter with combination of the big yellow eye and two white tail spots are distinctive of Little Sparrowhawk.

#5
Image
Short-clawed Lark
The most frequent incorrect answer here was Tree Pipit, but that is a much more compact bird than this with a distinct malar stripe, and a less distinct supercilium. Once you get this bird into the Lark family as opposed to the Pipits it should be easy to pin as Short-clawed Lark with that medium length thin bill, and long broad supercilium.

#6
Image
Dusky Flycatcher
This bird is more of a dark grey as opposed to a blue grey that you would expect from Ashy or Grey Tit Flycatcher. The short white eyebrow and white eye-ring, short wings and slight streaking on the throat should point towards Dusky Flycatcher.

#7
Image
Dunlin (non-br)
This was the toughest bird of the challenge. It was mostly confused with the much more common Curlew Sandpiper. Dunlin is separated from Curlew Sandpiper by the much more dumpy appearance with almost no visible neck, shorter tibia, shorter primary projection and slightly less decurved bill.

#8
Image
Lesser Spotted Eagle
More round wings and tail rule out Wahlberg’s Eagle, and all dark underwings rule out Tawny Eagle. Vent lighter than flight feathers and body, white ‘commas’ on the carpal patch, spots along the wings and underwing coverts slightly lighter than flight feathers help rule out Steppe Eagle.

[/quote]

Read more about:

1. Kittlitz's Plover
2. Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver
3. Red-faced Cisticola
4. Little Sparrowhawk
5. Short-clawed Lark unfortunately not on the index yet.
6. Dusky Flycatcher unfortunately not on the index yet.
7. Dunlin unfortunately not on the index yet.
8. Lesser Spotted Eagle

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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby hilda » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:08 am

inyanga 1 wrote:I've jumped in (eyes closed) for my first ID challenge. Maybe that'll encourage others.


inyanga 1! I am impressed! :clap: :clap:

May there be many more 'mites to follow suite! :pray:

jaytea wrote:I'm one of the culprits Thanks for letting me have another week to get it into my schedule!!!!


Thank you jaytea! It is really appreciated! :clap: :clap:

umtali1 wrote:My SO is turning the pages as I write, having pinched my books. He's hoping to pm later.


Thank you umtali1's SO (Richard!) :dance: :dance:

Hope to see you all participating regularly for many moons to come! :dance: :dance:

To all who didn't submit their answers due to the annual cricket event, kindly do so this week! You have time until 14 March 2014 to submit your answers to Johan. Please do it! :pray: :pray:

If anybody noticed that the Else were completely absent from the Forums yesterday, we went to join the 'mites at the cricket at Skukuza just for the day. What a wonderful event! :clap: :clap:

Good news:

As from September 2014, the Bird ID Challenges will run for two weeks each instead of one, to give all a fair chance to participate during their busy daily schedules. :D

Bad news:

It is too late to start doing it bi-weekly now, or even during the next four-month period, because quite a few dates have already been taken for these challenges, and I don't want to upset anybody! Please bare with it for the next few months and participate regularly. Your co-operation in this regard is really appreciated. :thumbs_up:
The secret of life is not to do what you like, but to like what you do. - Unknown.
Kruger sleeps in March 2016
2 - 5: Skukuza
6 - 8: Crocodile Bridge
9 - 11: Lower Sabie
12 - 13: Biyamiti
14: Return home

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:13 am

Hope the 13 ‘mites that took the trouble of sending me a PM with answers to challenge #8 2014 will take some learnings from the answers I give.

This was NOT a difficult challenge as the average result of 72.8% attests. What I take from the battle to get ‘mites participating in a challenge exclusively made up of LBJs is that closing the eyes to LBJs is a way of life for many. They are a difficult group of birds, but you can learn to love them and on birding trips encounters with them often becomes the highlights of those trips!

1 ‘mite got all the IDs right.
4 got 8
2 get 7
3 got 6
and one each scored 5, 4 and 3…


Image

Bird #1 Nesting Sabota’s Lark, no real problems with this boldly marked lark.

Image

Bird #2 Eastern long-billed lark. The distribution tip was given at the introduction to the challenge purely with this bird in mind as the long-billed lark complex is made up of six species (if one includes the short-clawed lark). Their distribution ranges are virtually exclusive and in the field, probably the greatest single clue as to the bird’s ID.

Image

Bird #3 Juvenile red-capped lark. Now the light goes on for the few that battled with this one! The red cap and red shoulder patches are just becoming visible.

Image

Bird #4 Lark-like bunting. No problem here

Image

Bird #5 Fawn-coloured lark. A plain appearance sometimes makes ID tough, but the pure white belly usually points one in the right direction. The white eyebrow, lack of malar stripes, sandy colour and rufous wing panel serves to confirm the ID.

Image

Bird #6 Eastern clapper lark. This bird can only be confused with Flappet Lark. The averall appearance is more rufous. The bill is more substantial. The challenge bird shows the intricate feather patterns up beautifully and one can see the core colour as being red rather than olive/brown of a flappet lark. Also, it has a very reddish front; also pointing to ECL.

Image

Bird #7 Rudd’s Lark. The pale, extensive ring around the eye, broad bill, upright stance, black on white scaled pattern on the back. If you look for it, you can see the light center line over the crown.

Image

Bird #8 Chestnut-backed sparrowlark. No problems

Image

Bird #9 Botha’s lark. I gave you the side-on view so that the streaking on the flanks would be visible. Together with the pink bill, it is diagnostic. Both melodious and pink-billed larks lack the streaked sides.

Read more about:

1. Sabota Lark
2. Eastern Long-billed Lark
3. Red-capped Lark
4. Lark-like Bunting
5. Fawn-coloured Lark
6. Eastern Clapper Lark
7. Rudd's Lark unfortunately not on the index yet.
8. Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark unfortunately not on the index yet.
9. Botha's Lark unfortunately not on the index yet.
676 Latest lifers: Short-clawed lark, Caspian plover, Western marsh harrier, Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake

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davejenny
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby davejenny » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:20 am

Here's the answers to Quiz #9/2014 - 11 participants this time (phew!)

#1
Diderick Cuckoo 5/11
This photo has an optical illusion thinking that it has a crest - it's the white marking behind the head giving it that appearance.

Here's Johan van Rensburg's reply - sums it up quite nicely (including a very nice photograph to back it up - reproduced here with his permission - thanks Johan) :
What did I consider: It reminded me of a Crested Cuckoo: Jacobin, Levaillant’s and Great Spotted Cuckoo – all wrong wing patterns. Although the bill seems short, I considered the Hoopoes… none fit. In spite of the obvious large bill, I thought Crested Barbet might fit, but now I cannot find a pic of the open wing!

I’m starting to doubt the crest! Maybe it’s an optical illusion…

Then I remembered the wing pattern of one of my own shots taken in KNP… a fit!
Diderick cuckoo!

Image

Image

#2
Green Malkoha (Green Coucal) 10/11
Above dull greenish grey; below light olive buff, shading to greenish grey on belly; tail long, graduated, slightly iridescent dull green; bill large, bright yellow (diagnostic).

Image

#3
a) Common Whimbrel 9/11
Size medium; like smallish Curlew; head boldly striped, buff on crown, dark brown at sides (Curlew's head lightly streaked brown and buff); eyebrow buff; rest of upperparts and most of underparts buff streaked dark brown; belly whitish; bill about twice length of head, decurved over whole length; Curlew's bill very long (about 3 times length of head), apical half decurved (Whimbrel's bill decurved over whole length); in flight rump boldly white (not as extensively white as in Curlew).

b) Crab Plover 11/11
Size medium to large (slightly smaller than Avocet); mostly white with black stripe down back and black primaries; heavy black bill diagnostic; legs very long, pale greyish

Image

#4
Squacco Heron 10/11
Wings, rump and tail startlingly white in flight, contrasting with brown body.

Image

#5
Allen's Gallinule 5/11
Bill red, difficult to see the frontal shield in this photograph, but the bill much more slender than African Purple Swamphen. Red legs distinguish it from American Purple Gallinule.

Image

#6
Lilac-breasted Roller 8/11
Tail blue, forked, with long narrow outermost rectrices (not always easy to see in field, but good flight character); breast lilac; belly blue; in flight wings bright blue.

Image

#7
Palm-nut Vulture 8/11
Size large; mostly white with black on scapulars, wings and tail; head mostly feathered, white, with bare red patches around eye and below bill; in flight tail short, rounded, black with white tip; wings white except for black inner secondaries, black tips to primaries and small black patches on leading edge.

Image

#8
Broad-billed Roller 11/11
Yellow bill diagnostic; above rich hazel brown; tail blue; below violet-purple; wings blue.

Image

#9
Black Kite 1/11
Body dark brown, tail forked; head markedly paler than body (not so contrasty in Yellow-billed Kite); bill black at all ages; wings long, somewhat angled.

Image

#10
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater 10/11
Very similar to Olive (Madagascar) Bee-eater; mainly green, including crown (crown
brown in Olive/Madagascar Bee-eater); eyebrow light blue (whitish in Olive Bee-eater); cheeks blue
(brownish in Olive/Madagascar Bee-eater); throat brown, shading to yellow under chin (no yellow on
brown throat of Olive Bee-eater); central rectrices elongate

Image

Thanks once again for participating :thumbs_up:

Read more about:

1. Diderick Cuckoo
2. Green Malkoha
3. Common Whimbrel
4. Squacco Heron
5. Allen's Gallinule
6. Lilac-breasted Roller
7. Palm-nut Vulture
8. Broad-billed Roller
9. Black Kite unfortunately not on the index yet.
10. Blue-cheecked Bee-eater
Too far from the Kruger.... ahh memories of this trip....
Punda Maria - 3-4/11/2011
Pafuri Tented Camp - 5-6/11/2011
Shingwedzi - 7-8/11/2011
Letaba - 9/11/2011
Olifants - 10/11/2011
Satara - 11/11/2011
Skukuza - 12/11/2011
Berg-en-dal - 13-14/11/2011

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Dabchick
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby Dabchick » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:32 am

I didn't take part in Challenge #9 as I didn't have time to give the challenge a proper go, but as always, I came to check out the answers just to see what I missed out on...

Now I'm left wondering about the ID of question 9... it doesn't look like a black kite to me. And the paltry 1/11 'mites who got this one correct, makes me think I'm not alone in this... :hmz:

The reasons given for the ID, e.g. body dark brown (not true), tail forked (true), head markedly lighter than body (not true), bill black at all ages (not really clearly visible on photograph and while an all-yellow bill & cere would be diagnostic for yellow-billed kite, the black & yellow bill & cere of a black kite is not really all that unique), wings long, somewhat angled (true, but the wings seems almost longer and narrower than what one would expect in a kite). ID features not give: underwing pattern does not seem to be a fit for black kite.

Or am I confused?

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umtali1
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Location: Comberton near Cambridge UK ...2016 visit?

Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby umtali1 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:59 am

Dabchick wrote:I didn't take part in Challenge #9 as I didn't have time to give the challenge a proper go, but as always, I came to check out the answers just to see what I missed out on...

Now I'm left wondering about the ID of question 9... it doesn't look like a black kite to me. And the paltry 1/11 'mites who got this one correct, makes me think I'm not alone in this... :hmz:

The reasons given for the ID, e.g. body dark brown (not true), tail forked (true), head markedly lighter than body (not true), bill black at all ages (not really clearly visible on photograph and while an all-yellow bill & cere would be diagnostic for yellow-billed kite, the black & yellow bill & cere of a black kite is not really all that unique), wings long, somewhat angled (true, but the wings seems almost longer and narrower than what one would expect in a kite). ID features not give: underwing pattern does not seem to be a fit for black kite.

Or am I confused?

I was confused too as all black kites I've seen are dark underneath :hmz: .I didn't comment as I am very much a novice in this area.........
umtali1

2013 Mokala and KNP http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75574.

2015 "Cape Town to Namibia border" - Ebb and Flow, Karoo NP, Mokala, Augrabies & KTP

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hilda
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

Unread postby hilda » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:10 am

Maybe Johan van Rensburg could share his thoughts about this bird? I'm with Umtali1 on this one - too much of a novice to even try to discuss this one! :wink:

By the way, the next challenge, #11/2014, will be posted by Johan van Rensburg on Friday, 28 March 2014. :dance: :dance:
The secret of life is not to do what you like, but to like what you do. - Unknown.
Kruger sleeps in March 2016
2 - 5: Skukuza
6 - 8: Crocodile Bridge
9 - 11: Lower Sabie
12 - 13: Biyamiti
14: Return home


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