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Birding school for ducklings 2015

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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umtali1
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Birding school for ducklings 2015

Unread post by umtali1 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:35 pm

Answers to #1/2015.

There were 5 participants; 3 with all correct; one with 3/5; one with 2/5.
Some of you tried without the books :clap: :clap: :clap:
Thanks to you all for participating :gflower: :gflower:

#1/2015

1)Black shouldered kite.
The distinctive red eye was the clue to this smallish grey and white raptor. The black bill and yellow cere also apparent,together with the wings projecting beyond the tail.

Image

2)Juvenile saddlebilled stork.
I hoped to confuse you as this bird was resting on its tibiotarsal joints, reducing its height! :evil:

Image

3)Ant eating chat.
This dumpy medium-sized chat with a short tail and fairly long legs was a little more challenging. Sooty brown plummage, except for white carpal patch (m), and black beak and legs.

Image

4)Swallow tailed bee eater.
The deeply forked tail is distinctive.

Image

5)Yellow billed kite.
The yellow bill and dark eye gave this one away.

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Thanks for taking part. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Hope to hear from you and a few others for the next challenge which will be up soon! :whistle:
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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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by umtali1 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:34 pm

Answers to Ducklings #2/2015.

There were only four participants this time :( Thanks to you for participating :gflower:

1)Village weaver - largely yellow crown, heavy bill and red eye. Sorry you couldn't see the mottled black and yellow back
Image

2)Thick billed weaver - a large weaver with a huge bill and big head. This is a female, heavily streaked below with a paler bill.
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3)Juvenile bateleur - milky green feet and legs and pearl-grey face and brown eye make this a juvenile.
Image

4)Kalahari scrub robin - this pale brown lacks the white wing bars and mottled breast of the white browed scrub robin.
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5)Yellow throated longclaw - have shown you another picture of the same bird. Black necklace now visible with the yellow throat.
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5a)
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There was only one with all correct :clap: Perhaps I made it tooooo hard :hmz: :oops:

Hopefully the next is a bit easier. :pray: :pray:
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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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by umtali1 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:46 am

Answers to #3/2015

There were 7 participants this time.

1)Kurrichane thrush - black malar stripe and bright orange beak

Image

2)Greater striped swallow -striped ear coverts and seen in Mokala

Image

3)Burchells Coucal - no problems

Image

4)Water thick-knee- the grey wing panel distinguishes it from the spotted thick-knee.

Image

5)Swainsons Spurfowl - no problems

Image

Thank you all for your efforts. :gflower: Please keep supporting Barryels and other CMs . I'm sure there are more fledgling birders out there :hmz:

Happy birding.
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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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by barryels » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:50 am

Thanks to everybody who participated in this challenge :D .

We had 9 participants for challenge #4 of 2015 and the results are as follows:

Two ‘mites had 3/5;
Two ‘mites had 4/5; and
Five ‘mites had 5/5

Great score by everyone and I can see that everybody is learning fast :clap: .

Here are the answers for this week. I have included some ID pointers for future reference as well as linked each bird to the index as further reference at the bottom of the post:

#1 Cardinal Woodpecker [ 9 ] Ad male: Forehead to mid-crown medium brown, hind crown and nape red; malar stripe blackish-brown. Lores, supercilium, ear coverts and throat white to greyish white, sparsely and finely streaked dark brown behind eye, on ear coverts and throat. Upper parts barred with alternating bands of blackish brown and white; tinged yellow or olive on rump and upper tail coverts. Tail brown with yellowish barring; shafts golden yellow. Underparts greyish white, thickly and densely streaked brownish black, tending to bars on lower flanks. Legs and feet greyish black.

Image

#2 Brown-crowned Tchagra [ 8 ] Ad: Forehead, crown and nape brown. Supercilium white, bordered above by thin black line (diagnostic). Lores black, colour extending as eye stripe well behind eye. Sides of face and ear coverts brown. Back tawny brown. Rump and upper tail coverts greyish brown. Tail black, rectrices with broad white tips, width increasing outwards. Chin whitish buff. Throat to belly pale tawny, breast and flanks tinged greyish. Bill black. Eyes brown or purple-brown, with pale inner rim. Legs and feet grey.

Image

#3 Sugarbird Cape. [ 7 ] Ad: Sexes alike in plumage coloration, male with much longer tail. Forehead straw-coloured, indistinctly streaked blackish. Crown blackish brown, feathers edged buff; nape blackish brown. Lores and ear coverts brownish. Malar stripe brown, bordered above by white stripe. Hind neck to mantle brown, blotched blackish. Back olive-brown, with diffuse black streaking. Rump and upper tail coverts yellowish olive green. Tail greyish, blackening distally. Chin and throat white to off-white. Upper and mid-breast brown, feather tips buffy, crescent-shaped. Lower breast and belly whitish or greyish white, with bold black and brown streaking, densest on sides. Flanks buff, heavily streaked dark brown. Undertail coverts bright yellow. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet black.

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#4 Ruff. [ 7 ] Ad non-br: Upper parts brownish grey and dully scaled. Dark feather centres have pale grey to grey-brown fringes and off-white tips, often with subterminal black dots on scapulars and tertials. Feathers at base of bill frequently white. Lateral upper tail coverts white, centre brownish black, tail dark grey, feathers narrowly bordered white. Upper wing coverts grey. Face to breast pale grey, feathers broadly fringed white; remainder of underparts white. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet shades of yellow, pink, orange, vermilion or brown, sometimes with green or brown spots or patches.

Image

#5 Fairy Flycatcher [ 8 ] Ad: Crown to rump uniform dark, soft, blue-grey, very subtly tinged olive. Lores, ear coverts and cheeks black (forming mask); bordered above by narrow white supercilia that meet on frons, and below by white malar stripe. Narrow white line ca 3 mm long borders lower eyelid. Rump appears white when flank plumes overlie rump feathers. Upper tail coverts bluish black. Tail glossy black. Belly whitish, centre of belly creamy white, feathers with striking pink bases, not always clearly visible. Vent and undertail coverts whitish. Bill black, slender; rictal bristles present. Eyes dark sepia-brown. Legs and feet black.

Image

Read more about:

1. Cardinal Woodpecker
2. Brown-crowned Tchagra
3. Sugarbird Cape.
4. Ruff.
5. Fairy Flycatcher.
Always be humble and understanding

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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by barryels » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:15 am

Duckling Challenge #5 of 2015

Morning All,

For those who entered, thanks for the participation :thumbs_up: .

Just a little reminder to all participants and those ‘mites that are still unsure about participating. These challenges are done for fun and to learn by participating in them. It is not an examination. You don’t have to ID each bird if you cannot. Nobody knows what you have sent through and it is your choice to put your results on the forums if you wish.

Here are the results for this week:
Four ‘mites had 6/8
One ‘mite had 7/8

1# Long-billed Crombec: [ 5 ] Ad: Crown brownish grey, nape slightly buffier. Supercilium whitish to pale tawny. Lores dark grey, colour extending as stripe behind eye. Ear coverts and cheeks pale tawny. Remainder of upper parts, incl tail, brownish grey. Upper wing coverts and flight feathers brownish grey, primaries and secondaries edged paler. Underwings rufous-buff. Chin and throat buffy white, diffusely mottled grey. Remainder of underparts tawny cinnamon, colour most intense on belly and flanks. Bill blackish horn, base pinkish. Eyes pale to mid-brown. Legs and feet pinkish to yellowish brown. Confusing species: Red-faced Crombec is shorter-billed, with darker, more rufous and uniform face (lacking pale supercilium and dark eye stripe).

Image

2# Black Sparrowhawk: [ 4 ] Sexes alike in plumage coloration.Ad: Head, upper parts (incl upper wing coverts) and rump black. Nape and scapulars with white spots, not usually visible in field. Tail blackish brown, with 4 indistinct darker bars and broad, black tip. Flight feathers dark blackish brown, whitening towards bases of inner webs. Underwing coverts and axillaries white, barred and blotched black. Undersides of flight feathers pale grey, barred dark grey. Underparts vary along a continuum from almost pure white to wholly black. Lower flanks typically black; upper breast typically white. Darkest birds (sometimes termed 'melanistic form') have reduced barring in wings and tail, and usually with white throat. Generally rarest colour phase, but predominates 4:1 (n = 44) in W Cape26. Eyes vinaceous, occasionally amber. Bill blackish; cere yellow. Legs and feet yellow.

Image

3# Ashy Tit: [ 3 ] Ad: Cap extending through eyes to nape blue-black; hind neck white. White patch extends from base of lower mandible to cheeks and ear coverts. Back bluish grey, rump grey, upper tail coverts greyish black. Tail black, outermost rectrices, and occasionally T5, with white edges; all rectrices tipped white7. Wings grey-black when fresh, browner in worn plumage; flight feathers with narrow white to buff outer edges. Coverts and tertials black, narrowly fringed white. Chin, throat and breast black, colour extending in 'V'-shaped bib down centre of belly; sides of breast and flanks grey. Bill black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet grey. Confusing species: Grey Tit has less white on hind neck, back brownish (not bluish grey), and flanks buffy (not grey). Miombo Tit has less extensive black bib, pinkish white (not grey) flanks and pale grey (not white) outer edges to outer rectrices and tail tip.

Image

4# Brubru: [ 5 ] Ad male: Crown black, colour extending forwards as narrow triangle to base of bill. Supercilia white, broad and long, almost meeting on forehead and extending back to nape. Lores white, with blackish loral spot in front of eye. Ear coverts black, extending back to black nape. Mantle black laterally, buffy white centrally; scapulars white. Back black, with large white spots along midline. Rump feathers with grey bases, large white subterminal patches, and black tips; long and fluffy. Upper tail coverts black. Tail black, outer rectrices tipped white. Primary coverts black, each with large white oval patch along inner web. Greater coverts black, three innermost feathers with broad white to cream outer margins and tips. Median coverts cream to white, lesser coverts black. Primaries black, with narrow white edges; secondaries and tertials black, but 3 inner secondaries with broad white outer margins. White in wing forms conspicuous bar on folded wing. Undersides of flight feathers grey, with white inner margins. Underwing coverts and axillaries white. Underparts white, with chestnut patches from sides of breast to lower flanks. Bill black, hooked; upper mandible with prominent notch. Eyes dark reddish brown. Legs and feet grey. Confusing species: Superficially resembles batises, but latter much smaller, with yellow or orange (not dark) eyes; no batis has such a broad and long supercilium. Black-backed Puffback larger, with underparts wholly white.

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5# Orange-breasted Sunbird: [b][ 5 ] [/b]Ad male: Head, neck, upper mantle and upper scapulars metallic bottle green. Remainder of upper parts olive green. Tail brown, rectrices edged olive green; long and graduated, central rectrices projecting ca 20 mm. Lesser upper wing coverts metallic bottle green, remainder of coverts dark brown, edged olive green. Flight feathers dark brown, edged yellowish olive. Pectoral tufts yellow. Axillaries and underwing coverts pale olive green. Upper breast with narrow violet band; mid- to lower breast orange, paling to yellow belly and orange-tinged undertail coverts. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet black. Ad female: Crown, ear coverts and sides of neck olive green, tinged brownish. Remainder of upper parts olive greenish grey. Tail dark brown, rectrices edged yellowish olive. Upper wing coverts dark brown, edged olive green. Flight feathers dark brown, edged yellowish olive. Underparts olivaceous yellow, belly sometimes tinged orange. Wings and tail blackish.

Image

6# Yellow-bellied Greenbul: [ 5 ] Ad: Forehead to upper tail coverts olive green, slightly browner on crown, where feathers elongated into shaggy crest; rump yellowish. Lores and face brownish. Rectrices olive green, edged green, tipped pale when fresh. Shafts of rectrices brown above, pale yellow below. Flight feathers olive-brown, with green inner margins above, yellowish outer margins below. Axillaries and underwing coverts yellow. Chin whitish to pale yellow, throat pale yellow. Remainder of underparts rich yellow, with brownish cast to breast. Bill purplish or blackish, with paler cutting edges. Eyes brown, red-brown or bright red; eye ring white, broadest above eye. Legs and feet grey or blackish. Juv: As ad, but duller and paler. Eyes grey, becoming red at ca 6 mo. Confusing species: Smaller Sombre Greenbul has greener underparts, olive-grey (not bright yellow) underwings, whitish (not dark) eye, without white eye ring, and lacks shaggy crest.

Image

7# Grey-backed Cisticola: [ 1 ] Ad: Forehead and crown dark rufous-brown, faintly streaked blackish; supercilium paler, indistinct. Lores, cheeks and ear coverts buffy brown, finely streaked below eyes. Nape, mantle and back dark brown, feather edges paler greyish brown, giving streaked appearance. Rump sparsely streaked dark brown. Tail brown, central rectrices plain, remainder with broad subterminal spot or bar and pale brown tips. Wing coverts and scapulars streaked with dark brown, feathers with greyish-brown edges. Flight feathers dark brown, primaries with reddish-brown margins on both webs; inner margins of secondaries reddish brown. Chin and throat buffy white, breast greyish white; remainder of underparts pale buffy, darkest on flanks. Underparts with extensive fine, dark streaking, concentrated on sides of breast and flanks. Bill grey. Eyes brown. Legs and feet pinkish flesh. Juv: As ad, but upper parts duller, underparts faintly washed yellowish. Confusing species: Very similar Wailing Cisticola has plain warm buff (not grey and streaked) breast. Levaillant's Cisticola has black-and-brown (not grey-and-brown) streaked back, contrasting strongly with brighter chestnut crown and tail.

Image

8# Dark Chanting Goshawk: [ 4 ] Ad: Upper parts, incl head, grey. Upper tail coverts narrowly barred grey and white, central rectrices black, tipped white; remainder of tail broadly barred black and white1. Upper wing coverts grey, feathers with dark shafts. Flight feathers indistinctly barred grey and dark grey; little contrast between primaries and secondaries, but outer primaries broadly tipped blackish. Underwing coverts white, very finely barred grey, contrasting with dark flight feathers. Chin to upper breast grey. Remainder of underparts white, finely barred grey. Bill basally red, distally dark grey; cere and adjacent naked facial skin red. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet red. Confusing species: Pale Chanting Goshawk larger, less compact, and paler grey, with longer legs, whitish upper tail coverts, contrasting primaries and secondaries, and pale grey patch in folded wing.

Image

Read more about:

Long-billed Crombec

Black Sparrowhawk

Ashy Tit

Brubru

Orange-breasted Sunbird

Yellow-bellied Greenbul

Grey-backed Cisticola

Dark Chanting Goshawk
Always be humble and understanding

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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by hilda » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:25 pm

Thank you to all the Ducklings who participated in this challenge! :gflower:

We had 9 participants for Duckling #6/2015 and the results are as follows:

Three mite's had 8/8
Three 'mites had 7/8
One 'mite had 6/8
Two 'mites had 5/8

Here are the answers for Duckling #6/2015: (All identification descriptions taken from Roberts’ Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa.)

#1 = Arrow-marked Babbler

No problems here!
Ad: Forehead blackish brown; feathers pointed, with narrow, paler brown edges. Crown feathers brown, with blackish streaks along shafts. Lores dark brown; ear coverts brown, with fine whitish streaks. Cheeks and area above eyes with fine whitish 'V'-shaped marks. Sides of neck brown, with fine whitish spots. Hind neck plain brown. Mantle, scapulars and back brown, feathers with fine, dark shaft streaks, some buffy feathers form indistinct pale spots when fresh. Rump and upper tail coverts slightly paler than back, some feathers with indistinct pale tips. Tail dark brown above and below. Upper wing coverts brown, median and lesser wing coverts with small pale spots. Flight feathers brown, inner webs of primaries and secondaries with broad rufous edges forming patch on underwing. Chin, throat and breast dark brown. Feathers of chin, throat and breast pointed, with whitish 'V'-shaped marks at tips; marks largest on breast feathers. Belly, flanks and undertail coverts paler brown and buffier. Remainder of underparts with fine, buffy-white shaft streaks. Bill black. Outer part of eyes orange to bright red, inner part yellow to orange-yellow. Legs and feet black.

Image

#2 = Red-winged Francolin
Another easy one, only one 'mite was caught off guard here.
Ad: Upper parts mostly brown, blotched blackish, with prominent off-white feather shafts and buffy transverse barring. Head rufous, with broad black-and-white flecked lateral crown stripe extending down hind neck to mantle. Similarly patterned stripe extends below eye and ear coverts, down sides of neck to foreneck and upper breast, forming bib. Throat white, without black border. Midbreast to belly buffy, with broad rufous edges to feathers, especially on breast. Vent and undertail coverts buffy, barred blackish. In flight, outer secondaries, primaries and primary coverts mostly rufous. Bill heavy, decurved, and black with yellow base (not extending to top of upper mandible). Eyes brown. Legs and feet dull yellow; male with short, blunt tarsal spur.

Image

#3 = Yellow-throated Longclaw
Also easy as promised, one 'mite was a bit confused with this one.
The Yellow-throated Longclaw is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Yellow-throated Longclaw is about 21 cms and its weight is about 48 gms.
Ad male: Forehead to nape buffy brown, feather centres darker, giving lightly streaked effect. Lores and ear coverts pale buffy brown. Moustachial stripe dark brown to black extending to link up with sides of neck to broad black necklace across upper breast. Supercilium lemon yellow. Remainder of upper parts greyish brown, lightly streaked. Rectrices dark olive-brown, with pale shafts. Central rectrices narrowly fringed buff. Primaries and secondaries dark olive-brown. Upper wing coverts dark olive-brown, with pale fringes. Chin, throat, malar region and foreneck deep lemon yellow, enclosed by black necklace bordered below with dark brown streaking. Sides of upper breast creamy yellow; lower breast and belly deep lemon yellow. Flanks and undertail coverts yellow-buff. Upper mandible blackish, lower mandible paler. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet pale brown to dull yellow.

Image

#4 = Drakensberg Prinia
So sorry about this one! Three 'mites had it correct.
My apologies Ducklings! I think this picture might have been a bit too difficult for the Duckling level!
Ad br: Upper parts buffy greyish olive; crown faintly streaked darker. Supercilium pale yellow, lores dusky. Area below eyes pale yellow, cheeks and ear coverts buffy olive, streaked pale. Tail greyish olive, each rectrix with subterminal dusky spot and pale tip. Wings sepia, coverts and flight feathers edged buffy olive. Underparts buffy yellow, darker on throat and breast, sandy on sides and undertail. Lower throat and breast with fine brown streaks. Bill blackish. Eyes pale brown. Legs and feet flesh-brown.

Image

#5 = White-fronted Plover
Only two 'mites were caught off guard on this one.
Sexes differ slightly in plumage coloration. Ad male: Frons, forecrown and supercilium white, mid-crown crossed by blackish band; remainder of crown sandy grey, feathers fringed pale brown to off-white. Lores blackish brown, colour extending in narrow stripe behind eye to ear coverts. Remainder of face and nuchal collar white. Mantle, back and rump greyish to sandy grey, feathers fringed pale brown to off-white. Upper tail coverts and tail centrally blackish, laterally white. Primaries and secondaries dark brown, with bases, inner webs and shafts white. Coverts brownish grey, edged sandy brown; greater coverts tipped white. Pale dusky-brown lateral patch on upper breast. Lower breast and upper belly sometimes washed salmon or chestnut; remainder of underparts white. Bill black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet pale grey to green-grey or pale green. Ad female: As ad male, but black band on crown narrower and less well defined, sometimes absent.

Image

#6 = African Rail
I only found out later that one 'mite has made a typing error with this one! :( Let's give that 'mite the extra mark! You know who you are. :thumbs_up:
Sexes differ slightly in plumage coloration. Ad male: Forehead and sides of head dark slaty grey; crown to hind neck blackish brown. Remainder of upper parts, incl scapulars and upper wing coverts, dark vinaceous brown; rump and tail darker. Flight feathers and primary coverts dark brown, marginal coverts mainly white; some individuals with white spots or bars on secondary and median coverts. Axillaries and lesser underwing coverts blackish, narrowly barred white; remainder of underwing coverts dark grey. Undersides of flight feathers dark brownish grey. Chin and throat white; sides of neck, and foreneck and breast, dark slaty grey. Flanks, thighs, belly and undertail coverts black, narrowly barred white; centre of belly brownish grey, feathers tipped buff. Bill bright red, upper mandible dusky. Eyes blood red to reddish brown. Legs and feet red, darker in non-br season. Ad female: As male, but face to breast often with some pale markings (sometimes with a little brown on sides of neck and breast), and less regular barring on flanks.

Image

#7 = Cape Shoveler
No problems here.
Ad male: Head and neck pale greyish brown, feathers (except on throat) with dark brown central patches, appearing streaked. Streaking boldest on forehead, crown and nape, finer on remainder of head and neck. Mantle and short scapulars blackish brown, edged and barred buff. Longer scapulars, rump and upper tail coverts with blue-green sheen. Tail blackish-brown, rectrices edged cinnamon. Lesser and median coverts pale grey-blue, secondary coverts tipped white, forming wing bar. Primary coverts and primaries blackish brown. Secondaries blackish, outer webs metallic blue-green, forming speculum. Underparts dark brown, feathers edged and faintly barred cinnamon, appearing densely spotted dark brown. Bill black. Eyes pale yellow (deeper yellow when br). Legs and feet yellow (orange when br). Ad female: Overall paler, more uniform greyish brown than male, but head darker and upper parts without sheen. Lesser and median coverts duller blue, speculum smaller and duller. Bill dark grey. Eyes brown. Legs and feet brownish olive.

Image

#8 = White-headed Vulture
I expected some confusion here, but none! All had this one correct! :dance:
Sexes dimorphic in plumage coloration. Ad male: Head white, woolly crown feathers 'brushed up' to form cap; face pink, bare (flushes red in excitement). Neck pink, largely hidden by large ruff, black on hind neck, white on foreneck. Back and scapulars blackish brown. Lower back to upper tail coverts blackish brown, feathers edged buffy. Tail glossy black, square. Upper wing coverts blackish brown, median coverts broadly edged off-white. Flight feathers blackish. Underwings black, except for white axillaries and greater coverts, latter forming bar (diagnostic); secondaries sometimes with grey or silver wash. Crop patch white. Breast black, lower breast to undertail coverts, incl leggings, white. Bill orange to vermilion, base and cere powder blue. Eyes amber. Legs and feet pink. Ad female: As male, but all secondaries from S11 inwards white, sometimes with small brown smudges.

Image
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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by barryels » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:49 am

Thank you to everybody for participating in challenge #7 of 2015 :thumbs_up: . It is such a pleasure to read all the comments in the PM’s and sees the reactions when the results are sending back :D .

Here are the results with some info on ID pointers for future reference. The two birds that gave the most problems this week were no’s 6 and 8.

We had 9 participants for this challenge, only 3 away from qualifying for the book lucky draw :doh: .

4 'Mites had 100%;
3 'Mites had 6/8; and
2 'Mites had 5/8

The figure in blue brackets is an indication of which bird gave us some problems to ID.

#1 Lark, Red-capped: [7] Ad: Crown rufous, with fairly short, erectile hind-crown crest. Lores white, merging with whitish supercilium; narrow black eye stripe extends above ear coverts behind eye. Ear coverts whitish, finely streaked brown, darkest towards rear. Nape and hind neck sandy brown to mid-brown (pale grey-brown in some areas); sides of neck brown, with whitish streaks. Mantle sandy brown to mid-brown, finely streaked darker brown; back similar, but more heavily marked. Rump reddish brown, upper tail coverts rufous. Tail dark brown, outer pair of rectrices with white outer webs, next pair with narrow whitish outer edge, central pair with buffy margins. Flight feathers dark brown, outer primary with buffy-white outer web, remainder with narrow, paler brown outer edges. Scapulars, greater and median upper wing coverts and elongated tertials brown, with rufous-buff margins; lesser upper wing coverts sandy brown, with darker centres. Underwing coverts and axillaries pale brown. Foreneck brown, with whitish streaks. Remainder of underparts white, sides of breast with prominent rufous patches, sometimes almost meeting in centre; flanks with variable amount of brown or rufous. Bill black; small, fairly slender. Eyes brown. Legs and feet dark brown to black.

Image

#2 Wagtail, Cape: [9] Ad: Upper parts and face olive-grey, with creamy-white supercilium and narrow crescent under eye. Tail dark grey-brown. Outermost 2 rectrices white (T5 often blackish along inner web), T3-T4 usually with white outer webs and tips; T1 with paler grey margins when fresh. Flight feathers, and greater and median coverts dark grey-brown, narrowly edged pale buff-grey. Lesser coverts olive-grey, matching back. Axillaries grey, underwing coverts whitish. Throat, malar area and upper breast whitish, with a dark grey, often rather irregular gorget, broadest in centre. Remainder of underparts creamy white, flanks extensively washed olive-grey. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet brownish black. Confusing species: African Pied Wagtail juv has striking black and white wings. Mountain Wagtail has much longer tail; upper parts more blue-grey, underparts pure white. Western Yellow Wagtail lacks pectoral band or chest spot, and usually has some yellow wash on belly and vent; voice different. Grey Wagtail always has markedly yellow belly and longer tail.

Image

#3 Dove Tambourine: [9] Ad male: Forehead and area around eyes white, loral stripe black. Hind crown, ear coverts, nape and back ashy brown; lower back crossed by 2 indistinct blackish bands, with paler band between. Central pair of rectrices dark reddish brown; 2 outer pairs ashy, with subterminal dark grey to black bar. Remainder basally dark brown, distal third blackish. Upper wing coverts brown. Primaries and outer secondaries cinnamon, edged and tipped brown. Central and inner secondaries brown; 2 iridescent blackish-purple spots on wing formed by metallic markings on some inner coverts and secondaries. Underwing cinnamon. Throat to vent white; undertail coverts and flanks ashy brown. Bill purplish, tipped dark brown or black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet reddish purple. Ad female: As male, but with lower throat and breast washed grey. Juv: Brown above, most feathers transversely barred rufous and brown; breast grey in both sexes.

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#4 Weaver, Thick Billed: [9] Ad male: Overall dark brown; forehead white in br season. Tail blackish brown. Flight feathers blackish; white bases to primaries visible on folded wing and form conspicuous patch in flight. Bill blackish horn or dark grey, heavy and deep. Eyes brown. Legs and feet grey to blackish. Ad female: Upper parts, incl upper wing coverts, dark brown, scaled buff. Supercilium greyish, indistinct. Tail brown. Flight feathers dark brown, primaries edged paler brown. Underwing coverts and axillaries off-white. Underparts off-white, with heavy dark brown streaks; streaking narrows posteriorly. Undertail coverts with blackish-brown centres. Bill horn-coloured. Juv: As ad female, but upper parts more rufous; underparts buffier. Bill initially yellow, becoming darker. Confusing species: Ad female could be mistaken for ad female Violet-backed Starling, but latter has much more slender, black (not horn-coloured) bill.

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#5 Long-claw, Yellow-throated: [9] Ad male: Forehead to nape buffy brown, feather centres darker, giving lightly streaked effect. Lores and ear coverts pale buffy brown. Moustachial stripe dark brown to black extending to link up with sides of neck to broad black necklace across upper breast. Supercilium lemon yellow. Remainder of upper parts greyish brown, lightly streaked. Rectrices dark olive-brown, with pale shafts. Central rectrices narrowly fringed buff. T2-T6 have increasingly wide white tips to both webs, ca 5 mm wide on T2 increasing to distal 35% of inner web of T6; outer web of T6 almost entirely white. Primaries and secondaries dark olive-brown. Upper wing coverts dark olive-brown, with pale fringes. Chin, throat, malar region and foreneck deep lemon yellow, enclosed by black necklace bordered below with dark brown streaking. Sides of upper breast creamy yellow; lower breast and belly deep lemon yellow. Flanks and undertail coverts yellow-buff. Upper mandible blackish, lower mandible paler. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet pale brown to dull yellow. Ad female: As male, but underparts duller yellow, washed buff to olive-yellow. Juv: Upper parts as ad, but supercilium buff. Underparts buff, with trace of yellow in centre of breast. Necklace broken initially by spots and streaks. Confusing species: Yellow-breasted Pipit lacks broad black necklace. Golden Pipit much smaller, with black breast band, not necklace, and bright yellow underwings.

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#6 Nightjar, Rufous-cheeked: [5] Ad male: Crown stripe feathers blackish, edged rufous. Rictal bristles black; sides of face blackish with small rufous spots. Nuchal collar rufous to cinnamon-buff. Remainder of upper parts to upper tail coverts grey, with fine vermiculations and narrow blackish streaks. Central rectrices grey, with coarse, blackish vermiculations and ca 8 (5-6 exposed) narrow blackish bars, darker in T2-T3. T4-T5 mainly blackish, with prominent white tips (tips of T5 23-35 mm (27.4 mm), T4 17-32 mm (26.5 mm) (n = 30)). Scapulars with bold black streaks and cinnamon-buff blotches on outer webs. Coverts brown to blackish brown with buff blotches, rufous barring and greyish vermiculations. Chin and upper throat buff with dark markings; remainder of throat barred and marked cinnamon to buff and blackish brown to grey-brown, with 2 large white patches (1 each side of midline). Breast dull grey-brown, faintly peppered and sparsely blotched buff. Belly to undertail coverts buff to tawny, with narrow blackish-brown bars. Primaries and secondaries black to blackish brown, with greyish vermiculations at tips; P7-P10 with large white patches (both webs of P7-P9, inner web only of P10). Inner primaries and secondaries with incomplete rufous bars. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet brownish flesh. Ad female: Similar to male, but with smaller, rufous rather than white, spots on P7-P10. Pale tips to T4-T5 absent or short (15 mm) and heavily suffused with dull grey-brown Juv: Similar to female, but overall browner, plainer and with more rufous wash. Confusing species: Difficult to distinguish from European Nightjar in the field. Latter slightly larger, lacks rufous collar and has less prominent marks on wing coverts. Pale spots on primaries of female whiter in Rufous-cheeked Nightjar. Easily separated from most locally br spp on call (but call of European Nightjar, rarely given in region, is similar). Square-tailed Nightjar also has churring song, but churring 'changes gear' regularly. Square-tailed Nightjar differs in having white (male) or buff (female) wing bar and outer tail, latter extending along entire length of tail. Fiery-necked Nightjar has a broader, more obvious nuchal collar.

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#7 Kite, Black-shouldered: [8] Ad: Head very pale grey, forehead and supercilium white; remainder of upper parts blue-grey. Tail mostly white, contrasting with grey back; central rectrices grey. Lesser and median wing coverts black, forming black shoulder patch. Flight feathers blue-grey, tipped blackish. Underwing mostly white, with black undersides to outer primaries forming triangular black patch at wing tip. Underparts white, breast washed pale grey. Bill black; cere yellow. Eyes orange to ruby red. Legs and feet yellow. Imm: As ad, but with yellow-orange eyes; some retain juv remiges, rectrices, greater coverts and alula feathers. Juv: Similar to ad, but breast and neck washed chestnut, nape streaked white. Upper part feathers darker, pale-fringed, appearing scalloped. Flight feathers and coverts dark grey, edged buff; shoulder patch smaller, speckled white. Eyes dark grey-brown, become yellow within 3-4 wk. Confusing species: At a distance, smaller Dickinson's Kestrel has same pale-headed, grey-backed appearance, but has more slender and elongated silhouette, with barred, not plain tail extending beyond folded wing tips.

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#8 Batis, Pririt: [4] Ad male: Forehead, crown and nape dark grey, bordered by long, narrow, well-defined white supercilium. Black mask extends from lores through cheeks and ear coverts to sides of neck. Hind neck to upper tail coverts grey. Tail black, outermost rectrices with white outer webs and tips; remainder, except innermost pair, with narrow white tips. Primary coverts and alula black; greater coverts black, except for 2 near centre, which are broadly fringed white. Median coverts white, lesser coverts black. Primaries and secondaries black, with narrow white edges; tertials black, with broad white edges; together with coverts, form distinct wing bar. Underwing coverts and axillaries white, undersides of flight feathers dark grey. Chin to undertail coverts white, except for ca 10-14 mm wide, glossy black breast band. Thighs grey, flanks with some indistinct grey flecks or bars. Bill and inside of mouth black. Eyes pale yellow to ivory. Legs and feet black. Ad female: Upper parts as male, but crown with olivaceous tinge; supercilium less distinct. Chin, throat, lower sides of neck, and breast pale orange, shading to white on belly and greyish white on flanks. Imm: As female, but buffy orange breast mottled black, becoming black (male) or buffy orange (female). Juv: Duller than ad, spotted black and buff on head, head mask brownish black. Wing coverts tipped buff. Underparts dull white, mottled black and buffy ochre on breast (both sexes). Confusing species: Male Chinspot Batis has flanks plain white (not flecked or barred grey) and slightly darker crown.

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Also read more about the birds here:

1. Lark, Red-capped
2. Wagtail, Cape
3. Dove, Tambourine
4. Weaver, Thick Billed
5. Long-claw, Yellow-throated
6. Nightjar, Rufous-cheeked
7. Kite, Black-shouldered
8. Batis, Pririt
Always be humble and understanding

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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by barryels » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:52 am

Thanks again to everybody for your participation. It is always appreciated :D .

Here are the results of challenge #8 of 2015:

2 ‘mites have 5/8
2 ‘Mites have 6/8
2 ‘mites have 7/8; and
2’“Mites have 8/8


#1 Northern Black Korhaan: [6] Ad male: Head black, apart from white cheek patch and brown crown, finely barred and edged white. White collar across mantle extends onto sides of upper breast; remainder of upper parts barred buff-brown and black (bars of equal width). Greater, median and outer lesser coverts white, forming conspicuous edge to folded wing; in flight, together with white bases to primaries, form conspicuous bar across wing. Secondaries blackish. Underwing blackish, primaries with prominent white bases. Neck and underparts black. Bill coral-red, with grey tip and pale horn subterminal bar. Eyes brown; eye ring red. Legs bright yellow. Ad female: As ad male, but head, neck and breast buff-brown, crown and neck barred black. Lacks white mantle collar. Black of underparts confined to belly. Juv: As ad female, but remiges, and back and crown feathers tipped pale. Captive males till in juv plumage at 6 mo; black appears on neck at 7 mo. Confusing species: Southern Black Korhaan slightly larger, with all-black primaries, darker brown crown, and brown bars on upper parts narrower than black bars. Red-crested Korhaan differs from female in having black-and-white chevrons on upper parts, duller legs, no white in primaries. Male Black-bellied Bustard has longer neck and legs, black line down foreneck, mottled upper parts, paler legs, and white in wing much more extensive. Hybridises with Southern Black Korhaan in Great Fish R valley, E Cape. [Leucistic male recorded, with light brown wash on mantle and scapulars, and black loral stripe; bill and legs pinkish red.]

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#2 Wattled Starling: [8] Ad male br: Forehead, crown, chin and throat bare and black, hind crown and region of ear coverts yellow. 1 or 2 small wattles may develop on black areas on top of head, and paired, pendulous wattles (black) grow from throat; latter may be fused to form single dewlap. Some retain head feathers and lack wattles. Remainder of upper parts pale grey; rump and upper tail coverts white. Tail short; rectrices black, with bronzy sheen. Primaries and secondaries black, with bronzy sheen. Some or all wing coverts white; individually variable, partly age-dependent. Flight feathers silvery grey below; axillaries and underwing coverts greyish brown, edged white. Underparts pale grey, fading to off-white on belly, flanks and undertail coverts. Base of bill to nostrils black, remainder of bill yellowish. Eyes brown. Legs and feet pale brown. Confusing species: Juv Common Starling has dark (not pale) bill and brownish-grey (not white) rump and upper tail coverts.

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#3 Common Scimitarbill: [6] Ad male: Plumage mainly dark and iridescent. Crown and face deep blue, mantle and rump violet. Tail long and graduated, with outer rectrices shortest, sometimes with subterminal white spots on outer web. Wing coverts deep blue, sometimes tinged violet. Primaries, secondaries and tertials deep blue. Primaries with white bar or spot on inner web, sometimes also on outer web, forming white wing bar visible in flight but not always at rest. Chin, throat, breast and belly black, feathers tinged blue, some on throat and breast tinged violet. Bill dark horn or black, long and slender, strongly decurved along entire length. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet black. Confusing species: Black-billed juvs of larger Green and Violet Wood-Hoopoes have similar plumage coloration, with white wing and tail patches, and similarly graduated tails. However, very slender, strongly decurved bill of Common Scimitarbill diagnostic at all ages.

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#4 Large-billed Lark: [3] Ad: Supercilium whitish, fairly broad; eye stripe dark brown, indistinct. Cheeks and ear coverts whitish, finely speckled rufous-brown. Remainder of upper parts mainly dark rufous-brown, feathers with dark brown central streaks. Nape greyish, largely unstreaked, contrasting with rufous-brown crown and mantle. Rump and upper tail coverts less heavily streaked than crown and mantle. Tail dark brown, central pair of rectrices with broad rufous-brown margins, remainder with narrow buffy outer margins. Scapulars and tertials dark brown, with rufous-brown edges; wing coverts rufous-brown, with dark brown central streaks. Flight feathers dark brown, secondaries narrowly edged rufous-brown. Underwing buffy, coverts lightly streaked brown. Whitish throat extends as pale 'C' around rear of ear coverts. Remainder of underparts whitish, narrowly streaked dark brown on breast, variably extending onto flanks. Bill blackish horn, slightly paler at base; fairly long and strongly decurved. Eyes brown. Legs and feet pinkish brown. Confusing species: Range abuts all other long-billed larks. Cape Long-billed Lark slightly larger, with heavily streaked plumage. Upper parts grey-brown. Underpart streaking extends across flanks to undertail coverts. Agulhas Long-billed Lark smaller, with shorter bill and tail; upper parts buffy brown, more heavily streaked. Underpart streaking extends across flanks to undertail coverts. Eastern Long-billed Lark smaller and, in area of overlap, upper- and underparts redder and less streaked; lacks greyish nape contrasting with rufous-brown upper parts. Separation from Benguela Long-billed Lark based on genetic evidence; no distinctive morphological characters known, but southern birds av smaller and more streaked than northern populations of Karoo Long-billed Lark.

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#5 South African Cliff-swallow: [8] Ad: Forehead variable; pale rufous, sometimes blue-black. Crown dark brown (blue-black when fresh); rarely grey. Nape brown, with bluish gloss. Lores pale rufous; ear coverts dull blue-black. Mantle, back and scapulars metallic blue-black, with irregular pale streaks giving slightly mottled appearance. Rump rufous (buffy when worn). Upper tail coverts blue-black, fringed rufous. Tail blackish brown, square-tipped. Upper wings blackish brown, with faint gloss at tips of primaries and tertials. Undersides of flight feathers silvery blackish; underwing coverts pale rufous. Chin and throat pale rufous, with variable fine black speckling (often heavy, imparting dark-throated appearance), denser towards cheeks and sides of breast. Upper breast rufous, with coarse, diffuse blackish spots; lower breast pinkish or buffish white, with variable rufous markings. Belly and flanks buffish, flanks streaked rufous. Longest undertail coverts blue-black; with broad rufous fringes; shorter feathers rufous. Undertail silvery blackish. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet black. Confusing species: None.

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#6 Rosy-ringed Parakeet: [8] Ad male: Almost entirely pale green. Lower chin and malar area black, curving and narrowing into half-collar on side of neck, where bordered below by narrow, rose-pink stripe that extends over nape. Stripe bordered above, below and to rear of ear coverts by mauve-blue patch that extends onto hind crown. Narrow, indistinct loral stripe extends from front of eye to top of upper mandible. Upper tail centrally blue, with yellowish tips; green laterally. Undertail centrally blackish, yellowish olive laterally. Flight feathers dusky green above, grey below8. Upper mandible deep crimson, variably tipped black; lower mandible blackish red. Cere whitish. Eyes yellowish white. Legs and feet pinkish. Confusing species: None.

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#7 Red-billed Firefinch: [5] Ad male: Centre of crown and nape, mantle and back brown, sometimes suffused with pale red. Remainder of head dull pinkish red. Rump and base of upper tail pinkish red. Tail blackish brown, rectrices with reddish outer margins. Wing coverts brown, sometimes suffused pale red. Flight feathers dark brown, narrowly edged pinkish brown; P9 strongly emarginated, P6-P8 slightly emarginated. Underparts mostly dull pinkish red, sides of breast faintly spotted white. Lower belly and undertail coverts deep buff. Bill red, with dark horn culmen ridge; palate black, rim of palate yellow. Eyes red to red-brown, eye ring white or bright yellow. Legs and feet pinkish brown. Confusing species: Brown Firefinch is much more dusky and has a brown (not pinkish-red) rump. Male has red confined to upper breast and face; female red only on throat and lores. Juv Red-billed Firefinch frequently mistaken for Brown Firefinch because dull reddish rump often hard to see in poor light. Jameson's and African Firefinches have black (not red) bills; males with lower bellies and undertails black (not deep buff). African Firefinch male has mostly grey (not pinkish-red) head; female has underparts pinkish buff (not buff).

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#8 Rufous-eared Warbler: [8] Ad: Upper parts, incl upper wing coverts, buffy grey, streaked black. Supercilium whitish; lores, face and ear coverts bright brick red. Tail buffy brown, long, slender, and graduated; outer 3 pairs of rectrices with buffy edges to outer webs. Flight feathers dark brown, outer webs edged russet. Underwing coverts and axillaries pale buff. Underparts white to off-white, washed buff on flanks; lower throat with narrow black collar. Undertail coverts with dark streaks. Bill black; inside of mouth black in male. Eyes reddish hazel. Legs and feet pinkish. Juv: As ad, but rufous face patch indistinct, black collar indistinct or absent; tail shorter. Confusing species: None.

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Also read more about the birds here:

1. Korhaan, Northern Black
2. Starling, Wattled
3. Not on the index yet.
4. Lark, Large-billed
5. Swallow, South African Cliff
6. Parakeet, Rosy-ringed
7. Firefinch, Red-billed
8. Warbler, Rufous-eared
Always be humble and understanding

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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by barryels » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:53 am

We had 8 participants for challenge #9 of 2015.

The results were as follows:
1 ‘mite had 4/8;
1 ‘mite had 5/8;
2 ‘mites had 6/8;
2 ‘mites had 7/8; and
2 ‘mites had 8/8

Great scores and thank you for participating :thumbs_up: .

#1 Cape Penduline-tit: [5/8] : 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). Axillaries and underwing coverts whitish. 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.

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#2 Amur Falcon: [8/8] No problems here.

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#3 Baillons Crake: [ 6/8 ] Sexes alike, but female with chin pale grey. (P. p. intermedia) 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. Confusing species: African Crake larger, with heavily black-and-white barred lower breast, belly and flanks. Striped Crake (all plumages) has russet (not grey-and-white barred) lower belly and undertail coverts.

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#4 Pearl-breasted Swallow: [3/8] 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. Confusing species: Common House Martin has white (not blue-black) rump. White-throated Swallow has rufous forehead and complete breast band.

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#5 Chinspot Batis: [6/8] 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. Ad female: As male, but with chestnut throat patch and breast band; supercilium longer, extending to hind neck. Juv: As female, but with head and mantle mottled buffy. Wing markings buffy, not white. Confusing species: Male Pririt Batis has flanks with blackish speckling (not plain white). Male Pale Batis has longer supercilium, and back mottled whitish (not plain). Much smaller female Pale Batis has throat spot poorly defined. Female Cape Batis has rufous (not white) wing bar.

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#6 Green-winged Pytilia: [7/8] 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. Underwing coverts whitish. 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. Ad female: As male, but upper parts slightly duller. Head and face grey, throat buffy grey, merging into grey-and-white barred breast. Confusing species: Orange-winged Pytilia is darker and more compact, with shorter tail. Male has red (not grey) ear coverts, hind crown golden-olive (not grey), wings orange (not yellowish olive green) and underparts barred olive and white (not grey and white). Female has orange wings and less prominent barring below.

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#7 Golden-breasted Bunting: [8/8] No problems here.

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#8 Emerald-spotted Wood-dove: [8/8] No problems here.

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Also read more about the birds here:

1. Cape Penduline-tit
2. Amur Falcon
3. Baillon’s Crake
4. Pearl-breasted Swallow
5. Chinspot Batis
6. Green-winged Pytilia
7. Golden-breasted Bunting
8. Emerald-spotted Wood-dove
Always be humble and understanding

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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by hilda » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:47 am

Dear Ducklings,

We only had four participants this week, with great scores:

Two participants scored 9/9
The other two scored 8/9

Thank you all for participating! Very well done! Your participation is really appreciated. :gflower:

Here are the answers to Duckling challenge #10/2015:

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1. Spectacled Weaver

Ad male: Forehead and crown buffy or chestnut-brown. Black line from lores through eyes tapers to point on ear coverts; forms distinctive 'spectacle'. Upper parts from nape, incl tail and upper wing coverts, olive green. Flight feathers olive-brown, outer margins yellowish. Underwing greenish yellow. Chin and throat black, extending into tear-drop-shaped bib on upper breast. Face and area around bib golden yellow, variably washed chestnut. Remainder of underparts golden yellow. Bill black. Eyes yellow. Legs and feet grey.

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2(a) Hottentot Teal

Ad male: Crown to below eye blackish brown, extending down hind neck as narrow band. Remainder of face, chin, throat and upper neck buffy white, with black streaking on hind cheek and sides of neck forming dark patch. Upper back and anterior scapulars dark brown, broadly fringed grey-buff; long scapulars black, with glossy green sheen. Lower back and upper rump glossy black; lower rump and upper tail coverts pale buffy brown, finely vermiculated black. Tail dark brown, rectrices edged buffy, outermost with outer web pale buffy brown, vermiculated dark brown. Upper wing coverts blackish brown, with green sheen. Primaries blackish brown. Secondaries with basal two-thirds of exposed surface metallic green, broadly tipped black and white (forming speculum, with black subterminal border and white trailing edge). Underwing and axillaries white, with blackish coverts on forewing. Breast to belly buff-white, feathers with dark brown centres forming spotting on breast and sides, and barring on belly. Long flank feathers plain buff, often overlapping wing. Undertail coverts pale buff, heavily vermiculated black. Bill blue-grey; nail, cutting edges and ridge of upper mandible black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet blue-grey.

2(b) Red-billed Teal

Ad male: Top of head, nape and sides of head to below eyes blackish brown, colour extending over nape onto hind neck. Face below cap to chin and upper throat buffy white, becoming browner with fine speckling over posterior ear coverts and upper neck; more densely speckled on lower neck. Mantle, scapulars, and upper wing coverts dark olive-brown, edged creamy buff. Rump and upper tail coverts blackish, feathers edged grey. Tail olive-brown, rectrices narrowly edged buff; tapers to point. Breast to vent buffy-white, feathers with dark brown, crescentic centre patches, giving barred and mottled appearance. Undertail coverts dark olive-brown, proximal ones banded buffy-white, distal ones variably marked, or plain. Upper wing dark olive-brown, with apical three-quarters of exposed surface of secondaries pinkish buff, basal quarter black. Secondary coverts tipped pinkish buff; together with secondaries, these form speculum. Bill carmine pink; culmen ridge and nail blackish. Eyes brown. Legs and feet slate grey.

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This one prevented two of our participants to score 100%. :(

3. Black-backed Puffback (Female)

Ad male: Forehead to mantle and sides of neck glossy bluish black; cap extends below eye. Back and rump snow white. Upper tail coverts and tail glossy black. Flight feathers black, primaries narrowly edged white, tertials broadly edged white. Upper wing coverts black, greater primary coverts narrowly edged and tipped white; greater, median and lesser coverts broadly edged and tipped white. Undersides of flight feathers dark grey. Underparts creamy white. Bill black. Eyes bright orange-red to orange-yellow. Legs and feet grey. Ad female: As ad male, but less intensely black. Frons white, extending into short white supercilium; lores slightly dusky. Back and rump creamy white. Upper mandible black, lower mandible blue-grey. Eyes bright orange or yellow-orange. Legs and feet blue-grey.

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4. Brubru

Ad male: Crown black, colour extending forwards as narrow triangle to base of bill. Supercilia white, broad and long, almost meeting on forehead and extending back to nape. Lores white, with blackish loral spot in front of eye. Ear coverts black, extending back to black nape. Mantle black laterally, buffy white centrally; scapulars white. Back black, with large white spots along midline. Rump feathers with grey bases, large white subterminal patches, and black tips; long and fluffy. Upper tail coverts black. Tail black, outer rectrices tipped white. Primary coverts black, each with large white oval patch along inner web. Greater coverts black, three innermost feathers with broad white to cream outer margins and tips. Median coverts cream to white, lesser coverts black. Primaries black, with narrow white edges; secondaries and tertials black, but 3 inner secondaries with broad white outer margins. White in wing forms conspicuous bar on folded wing. Undersides of flight feathers grey, with white inner margins. Underwing coverts and axillaries white. Underparts white, with chestnut patches from sides of breast to lower flanks. Bill black, hooked; upper mandible with prominent notch. Eyes dark reddish brown. Legs and feet grey. Ad female: As ad male, but black of upper parts replaced with brown. Chin, throat and upper breast with blackish streaking. Chestnut breast patches smaller; flanks pale rufous.

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5. Denham’s Bustard

Ad male: Crown black, with prominent, broad, extended white supercilium and median stripe. Narrow blackish eye stripe; remainder of face bluish grey (rarely blackish). Sides of neck white, broadening on sides of nape. Hind neck and upper mantle deep chestnut; lower mantle, back and rump brown, with fine blackish vermiculations. Tail blackish brown with 2-3 broad, creamy white bands; central rectrices browner. Lesser wing coverts brown, vermiculated blackish; remainder of upper wing coverts black-and white, forming a distinct panel on folded wing. In flight, shows striking white markings on upper wing both on inner primaries and on wing coverts, latter individually variable. Throat whitish; foreneck and upper breast bluish grey (rarely blackish), grading into white lower breast; long white plumes on neck and breast concealed when not displaying. Remainder of underparts, incl flanks and undertail, white. Bill horn. Eyes hazel. Legs yellow-white.

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6. Mocking Cliff-Chat

Ad male: Mainly glossy black except for bright rufous rump, lower breast and belly, and white carpal patch. Black upper breast separated from rufous underparts by narrow, but variable, white or pale orange line. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet black.

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7. Amur Falcon (Female)

Ad female: Forehead and cheeks white. Crown to nape grey. Small malar stripe and mask around eye black. Remainder of upper parts pale grey, with coarse, dark barring. Tail pale grey, with fine darker grey bars and broad subterminal bar. Undersides of flight feathers whitish, with coarse dark grey spotting and/or barring; underwing coverts whitish, with some black markings. Throat white; remainder of underparts whitish, with bold, dark streaking on upper breast, barring on lower breast and belly. Vent pale red-brown. Undertail pale grey, with coarse spotting and/or barring.

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8. Purple Heron (Juv.)

Ad: Crown and hind neck slate-black, with 2 long black plumes extending behind head. Sides of head and neck orange-brown; black moustachial stripe bifurcates below eye, creating orange-brown 'island' behind eye. Black stripe extends down length of side of neck. Back dull olive-grey, with elongated lower back feathers buff, edged white. Tail grey. Upper wings uniform dark grey. Underwing coverts chestnut, contrasting with dark grey flight feathers. Chin and throat white, lower half streaked black. Lower neck slate grey, grading into elongated rufous, white and black plumes of upper breast. Shoulder, upper belly and flanks rich vinaceous, merging into black lower belly and vent. Bill and eyes yellow, lores greenish. Legs yellow-brown, with black on front of tarsus and tops of toes. Imm & Juv: As ad, but generally duller. Cap dark brown. Lacks facial markings. Tawny-brown above, except for dark grey flight feathers. Streaking and stripes on neck and throat reduced and duller; underparts more uniform buff. Lacks any elongated feathers/plumes.

(All ID descriptions from Roberts'Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa.
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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by barryels » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:21 pm

Here are the results of challenge #11 of 2015.

We had 5 participants and very well done to each and everyone :clap: .

Here are the results:

One ‘mite had a score of 6/8
Two ‘mites had a score of 7/8
Two ‘mites had a full score of 8/8

Here are the answers to the challenge:

#1 Crested Guineafowl: [5] Ad: Thick 'top-knot' of curly black feathers on head diagnostic. Face and upper neck naked, blue-grey with a buffy-grey patch from ear coverts to nape. Lower neck to mantle and upper breast black, tinged dark chestnut (visible in good light). Body, wing and tail feathers with bluish tinge and dense, pale bluish-white spots forming a string on outer vane of dark flight feathers. Outer secondaries pale creamy brown, visible at rest and forming a diagnostic pale band in mid-wing in flight. Bill pale grey-blue, palest towards tip. Eyes crimson. Legs and feet greyish black. Confusing species: Differs from Helmeted Guineafowl in darker appearance, crimson eye, and feathered top-knot (not bony casque). Pale outer secondaries diagnostic in flight.

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#2 Dark Chanting Goshawk: [4] Ad: Upper parts, incl head, grey. Upper tail coverts narrowly barred grey and white, central rectrices black, tipped white; remainder of tail broadly barred black and white1. Upper wing coverts grey, feathers with dark shafts. Flight feathers indistinctly barred grey and dark grey; little contrast between primaries and secondaries, but outer primaries broadly tipped blackish. Underwing coverts white, very finely barred grey, contrasting with dark flight feathers. Chin to upper breast grey. Remainder of underparts white, finely barred grey. Bill basally red, distally dark grey; cere and adjacent naked facial skin red. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet red. Confusing species: Pale Chanting Goshawk larger, less compact, and paler grey, with longer legs, whitish upper tail coverts, contrasting primaries and secondaries, and pale grey patch in folded wing.

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#3 Ashy Tit: [4] Ad: Cap extending through eyes to nape blue-black; hind neck white. White patch extends from base of lower mandible to cheeks and ear coverts. Back bluish grey, rump grey, upper tail coverts greyish black. Tail black, outermost rectrices, and occasionally T5, with white edges; all rectrices tipped white7. Wings grey-black when fresh, browner in worn plumage; flight feathers with narrow white to buff outer edges. Coverts and tertials black, narrowly fringed white. Chin, throat and breast black, colour extending in 'V'-shaped bib down centre of belly; sides of breast and flanks grey. Bill black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet grey. Confusing species: Grey Tit has less white on hind neck, back brownish (not bluish grey), and flanks buffy (not grey). Miombo Tit has less extensive black bib, pinkish white (not grey) flanks and pale grey (not white) outer edges to outer rectrices and tail tip.

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#4 Brubru: [5] Ad male: Crown black, colour extending forwards as narrow triangle to base of bill. Supercilia white, broad and long, almost meeting on forehead and extending back to nape. Lores white, with blackish loral spot in front of eye. Ear coverts black, extending back to black nape. Mantle black laterally, buffy white centrally; scapulars white. Back black, with large white spots along midline. Rump feathers with grey bases, large white subterminal patches, and black tips; long and fluffy. Upper tail coverts black. Tail black, outer rectrices tipped white. Primary coverts black, each with large white oval patch along inner web. Greater coverts black, three innermost feathers with broad white to cream outer margins and tips. Median coverts cream to white, lesser coverts black. Primaries black, with narrow white edges; secondaries and tertials black, but 3 inner secondaries with broad white outer margins. White in wing forms conspicuous bar on folded wing. Undersides of flight feathers grey, with white inner margins. Underwing coverts and axillaries white. Underparts white, with chestnut patches from sides of breast to lower flanks. Bill black, hooked; upper mandible with prominent notch. Eyes dark reddish brown. Legs and feet grey. Confusing species: Superficially resembles batises, but latter much smaller, with yellow or orange (not dark) eyes; no batis has such a broad and long supercilium. Black-backed Puffback larger, with underparts wholly white.

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#5 Black-chested Prinia: [4] Ad br: Forehead to nape pale earth-brown. Cheeks and ear coverts greyish white; supercilium and face white, lores speckled black. Remainder of upper parts, incl tail, pale earth-brown. Tail strongly graduated, with central rectrices 24-30 mm longer than outermost; each rectrix with narrow dusky brown subterminal spot. Upper wing coverts and flight feathers pale earth-brown, underwing coverts and axillaries whitish. Chin and throat white; lower breast with broad blackish-brown band. Belly, flanks and undertail coverts pale lemon yellow. Bill black. Eyes brown to yellowish brown. Legs and feet pale brown to pinkish. Ad non-br: As br ad, but paler and more tawny on mantle, back, rump and upper tail coverts. Breast band indistinct or absent. Juv: As non-br ad, but underparts yellower; tail shorter. Confusing species: Tawny-flanked Prinia has rufous edges to wing feathers. Karoo Prinia has spots or streaks on breast and flanks. Drakensberg Prinia has yellow (not white) throat. In Nama-Karoo, occasionally hybridises with Karoo Prinia.

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#6 Fork-tailed Drongo: [5] Ad: Overall black, with purplish sheen. Longish tail deeply forked. In flight, wings pale, almost translucent. Bill black. Eyes red. Legs and feet black. Confusing species: Southern Black Flycatcher smaller, with less robust bill lacking hooked tip. Forehead steeper; tail square (not forked), and eyes brown (not red). Larger than Square-tailed Drongo, with less deeply forked tail, and occurs in forest (not open woodland). [Occasional leucism and partial leucism.

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#7 Violet-eared Waxbill: [5] Ad male: Forehead deep blue; crown rich chestnut, grading to paler brown mantle, back, scapulars and greater wing coverts. Cheeks, ear coverts and sides of face violet. Rump feathers deep blue, bases black. Tail black, long and graduated; rectrices (excl outermost) with basal two-thirds edged pale blue. Wings brown to grey-brown. Lores, chin and throat black. Breast, upper belly and flanks rich chestnut; lower belly brownish black. Undertail coverts blackish, tipped deep blue. Bill pale to bright red, with purplish sheen. Eyes reddish orange, becoming pale brown towards extreme periphery; eye ring bright orange-red. Legs and feet dark greyish brown. Ad female: Forehead pale blue; crown and nape brown, grading to pale brown on back and wing coverts. Lores dark grey-brown; cheeks, ear coverts and sides of face violet. Rump feathers pale blue, basal third blackish. Tail as male. Flight feathers grey-brown, edged paler brown. Chin and throat creamy. Breast deep fawn, belly and flanks paler; central lower belly, vent and undertail coverts pale cream. Eye ring pale orange-red. Confusing species: None.

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#8 Long-billed Crombec: [4] Ad: Crown brownish grey, nape slightly buffier. Supercilium whitish to pale tawny. Lores dark grey, colour extending as stripe behind eye. Ear coverts and cheeks pale tawny. Remainder of upper parts, incl tail, brownish grey. Upper wing coverts and flight feathers brownish grey, primaries and secondaries edged paler. Underwings rufous-buff. Chin and throat buffy white, diffusely mottled grey. Remainder of underparts tawny cinnamon, colour most intense on belly and flanks. Bill blackish horn, base pinkish. Eyes pale to mid-brown. Legs and feet pinkish to yellowish brown. Confusing species: Red-faced Crombec is shorter-billed, with darker, more rufous and uniform face (lacking pale supercilium and dark eye stripe).

Image
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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by hilda » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:06 pm

Dear Ducklings,

Four of you submitted your answers, and I thank you for that! You have all done very well, with the scores as follows:

Two ‘mites had one wrong
One ‘mite had two wrong
One mite had a 100% score.

I don’t think you are Ducklings any more, but please keep on submitting your answers and enjoy! :gflower:

Here are the answers to Duckling challenge #12/2015:

Image

1. = Little Bittern

Ad male: Crown to rump, incl primaries, secondaries and scapulars, black, with greenish gloss. Nape with slight crest. Sides of head and neck chestnut. Outermost primary shorter than adjacent two. Upper wing coverts buff. Chin, throat and remainder of underparts buff. Bill yellow to greenish yellow, darker on upper mandible; bare lores yellow. Eyes yellow, orange or reddish brown. Legs and feet greenish; back of tarsus and soles of feet yellow.

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2. Bush Blackcap

Ad: Top of head and mantle jet black; black cap extends below eye. Remainder of upper parts, incl upper wing coverts, brown. Flight feathers with olive-brown outer webs, outer primaries narrowly edged pale grey. Chin black; ear coverts and underparts from throat to belly pale grey, palest on belly. Flanks, thighs and undertail coverts pale brown. Bill bright coral-pink. Eyes brown. Legs and feet pale pink.

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3. African Quailfinch

No problems here, everybody identified this one correctly.

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4. Red-capped Robin-Chat

No problems here either.

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5. South African Cliff-Swallow

Ad: Forehead variable; pale rufous, sometimes blue-black. Crown dark brown (blue-black when fresh); rarely grey. Nape brown, with bluish gloss. Lores pale rufous; ear coverts dull blue-black. Mantle, back and scapulars metallic blue-black, with irregular pale streaks giving slightly mottled appearance. Rump rufous (buffy when worn). Upper tail coverts blue-black, fringed rufous. Tail blackish brown, square-tipped. Upper wings blackish brown, with faint gloss at tips of primaries and tertials. Chin and throat pale rufous, with variable fine black speckling (often heavy, imparting dark-throated appearance), denser towards cheeks and sides of breast. Upper breast rufous, with coarse, diffuse blackish spots; lower breast pinkish or buffish white, with variable rufous markings. Belly and flanks buffish, flanks streaked rufous. Longest undertail coverts blue-black; with broad rufous fringes; shorter feathers rufous. Undertail silvery blackish39. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet black.

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6. Olive Woodpecker

No problems to identify this cutie either!

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7. Grey Wagtail

No problems here!

Sorry, no matter what I do, this picture doesn't want to show, not even the lego pic!

8. Cape Sugarbird

Despite the “lego picture” that some of you saw, (sorry about that, it is a Tinypic problem), everybody had this one correct.

(All ID descriptions from Roberts’Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa.)
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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by hilda » Mon May 04, 2015 1:19 pm

Dear Ducklings,

Only four Ducklings submitted their answers. Isn’t it a shame? Thank you to the four who have submitted their answers.

One ‘mite scored 8/8
One ‘mite scored 7/8.
Two ‘mites scored 6/8.

Well done, because two birds (nos. 6 & 7) were not that easy.

Here are the answers to Duckling Challenge #13/2015:

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No. 1 = Southern Brown-throated Weaver

Ad male br: Head golden yellow; lores, cheeks, chin, throat and upper breast chestnut-brown. Nape yellow, merging into yellowish-green back and lesser coverts; rump bright yellow. Tail greenish, outer rectrices with broad yellow inner webs. Flight feathers yellow, with dark brown tips and central shaft streaks; greater and median coverts olive-brown, with broad yellow margins. Breast to vent golden yellow. Bill black. Eyes red-brown. Legs and feet flesh-coloured.

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No. 2 = Bearded Vulture

Ad: Forehead, crown, ear coverts and cheeks pale blond. Black facial mask extends from around eye, across lores, covering cere and nostrils; elongated feathers end in 'beard' 45-55 mm long. Back of head, nape and sides of neck white to orange, feathers long and shaggy. Remainder of upper parts, incl tail, blackish brown, feathers with white shafts. Tail long, wedge-shaped. Wings pointed. Upper wing coverts blackish brown, with white shafts and small white tips. Flight feathers greyish black, edged black, with white shafts. Axillaries orange to rufous. Throat to undertail coverts, incl shaggy leggings, white, but stained orange or rufous from accumulation of iron oxide on feather barbs. Throat feathers long and shaggy. Bill horn-coloured, cere grey. Eyes yellow, eye ring red. Toes bluish grey.

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No. 3 = Juv. African Goshawk

Ad female: Head and upper parts, incl upper wing, dark brown. Upper tail dark brown, with 3 broad, blackish bars; no tail spots. Underparts with barring coarser and less richly coloured than male; usually lacks rufous wash on flanks and thighs. Juv: Upper parts as ad female, but with white supercilium, and feathers tipped buff. White throat with median stripe dark brown; remainder of underparts whitish, with large, irregular brown spots. Eyes brown.

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No. 4 = Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk

Ad male: Crown to below eye dark slate grey, cheeks and lower ear coverts russet; head appears hooded. Upper parts dark slate grey. Tail dark greyish brown, tipped white, with 4 blackish bars with indistinct white shaft streaks between them. Upper wing coverts dark slate grey. Flight feathers dark brown, faintly barred paler; some white on inner webs. Chin and throat pale rufous to white. Upper breast to belly rufous; vent and undertail coverts white. Bill blackish; cere yellow. Eyes yellow. Legs and feet yellow.

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No. 5 = Mottled Spinetail

Ad: Crown to back uniform dark sooty brown, forehead slightly paler. Some feathers with pale bases, particularly on nape; may show through. Lores, area above eye and ear coverts pale grey-brown. Blackish 'C'-shaped mark around front of eye. Rump and upper tail coverts white, latter with dark subterminal spots, appearing mottled. Tail blackish (paler below than above), noticeably tinged glossy green; square, but with shafts protruding 2-4 mm beyond webs. Rectrices edged grey-brown, fringes of outer webs of outer rectrices with central white spot. Flight feathers blackish, slightly tinged glossy green; paler below than above. Remiges with inner webs and tips paler. Upper wing coverts blackish brown. On underwing, flight feathers do not contrast with greater and greater primary coverts. Median underwing coverts blackish, edged white; lesser coverts blackish, edged grey. Throat and upper breast whitish, lightly mottled brown; mottling diffuse on chin and central throat, concentrated on upper breast. Lower breast and belly darker brown, becoming blackish on undertail coverts. White band across vent diagnostic. Bill black. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet grey.

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No. 6 = Female Drakensberg Siskin

Ad male: Crown, nape, sides of face and ear coverts dull olive green, streaked with dusky olive-brown. Neck olive green, heavily marked with olive-brown. Mantle, back and upper tail coverts olive-brown, rump greenish. Tail blackish brown, outer 2 pairs of rectrices white on inner web, with thin brown stripe on centre of inner margin; remainder of rectrices faintly edged white. Primaries dusky brown; secondaries and wing coverts blackish brown, with paler brown edges. Throat yellowish green, sides of neck washed olive-brown. Upper breast and centre of lower breast yellowish green, shading to pale brown on central belly and undertail coverts. Sides of belly and flanks buffy brown. Bill brownish horn, palest on lower mandible. Eyes brown. Legs and feet brown. Ad female: As male, but generally browner. Crown and nape brownish, streaked darker brown. Back brown, with dusky mottling; rump lacks green. Underparts brownish, palest on belly; throat speckled or streaked dusky.

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No. 7 = European Nightjar

Ad male: Crown and hind neck grey-brown, very finely speckled and streaked black. Lores, ear coverts, chin and throat rufous, freckled black. Moustachial stripe whitish. Upper parts from mantle to upper tail coverts dark grey (paler towards back and rump), finely speckled and streaked black. Tail grey, with narrow, dark brown bars; 2 outer pairs of rectrices with white tips. Sides of neck buff or tawny; small white spot on throat on either side of midline. Upper wing coverts blackish to greyish, freckled rufous; median coverts broadly tipped buff. Primaries and secondaries dark brown, flecked buff (outer webs only on primaries) and tipped greyish; large white spot on inner webs. Bill black; inside of mouth deep red. Eyes dark brown. Legs and feet brownish flesh.

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No. 8 = Black Harrier

Ad: Upper parts mostly black; facial owl-like ruff apparent at close quarters. Upper tail coverts white; tail pale grey, with 5 black bars. Upper wing coverts black; primaries and secondaries grey, tipped black, with white inner webs. Inner secondaries barred blackish. Underwing coverts black. Undersides of flight feathers white; outer primaries edged black, inner primaries and secondaries broadly tipped black. Underparts black, feathers of belly and thighs with narrow white edges; undertail barred black and white. Eyes yellow. Bill dark grey, cere yellow. Legs and feet yellow.

(All ID descriptions from Roberts’Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa.)
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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by hilda » Mon May 11, 2015 8:42 am

Dear Ducklings,

Six entries received for challenge #14/2015. The scores were as follows:

1 ‘mite scored 4/6 (ran out of time, but still sent those answers he had in, so dedicated! Much appreciated! :clap: :clap:
3 ‘mites scored 6/8
1 ‘mite scored 7/8
1 ‘mite scored 8/8

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1. Blue-cheecked Bee-eater

Key identification feature for this species is the green crown and pale blue to whitish forehead. Confusion with Olive Bee-eater (with brown crown), is possible when worn blue facial markings of ad Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters are faded on arrival in mid-Nov.
Also, a small percentage of Olive Bee-eaters have green crowns. The rufous throat of Blue-cheeked Bee-eater only extends to below the eye, and not beyond to below the ear coverts as in the case of Olive Bee-eater. The body colour of Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters is blue-green (not olive green).

Status Fairly common Palaearctic non-br migrant. Present from mid Oct, with arrivals peaking early Nov, and departing late Mar, Apr, and some as late as early May. Highly gregarious, regularly in flocks of 20 or more. Roosts communally shoulder to shoulder, mostly in thorny or leafy trees.

Habitat Prefers moist woodlands, avoiding very arid areas; also favours margins of lake shores and estuaries.

Food In Africa feeds mainly on dragonflies, damselflies and lacewings. Also bees, wasps and other flying insects.

Image

2. Southern Boubou

Buffy belly and distinctive call helps separate this species from Tropical Boubou, with which it sometimes hybridises in the Limpopo R valley.

M. White throat and breast merges to rufous on the flanks and belly.

F. Slate grey above, underparts more extensively rufous, giving it an overall duller appearance.

Juv. Paler grey above, mottled buff-brown above and lightly barred rufous on white underparts.

Status Common endemic; sedentary, secretive and found singly or in pairs.

Habitat Dense vegetation and thickets from coastal dune to afromontane forest.

Food Mainly insects and snails, also geckos, mice, earthworms, fruits and nectar.

Call Synchronised duets vary somewhat, giving each pair their own unique tone or combination. Main call a loud ringing whee-whee-hohoho, or hohoho-wheeeyoo and similar combinations that may be initiated by either sex.

Br. Monogamous. Nest an untidy bowl usually well concealed low in a leafy bush. Host of Black Cuckoo (fairly common).

Image

3. Male Buff-streaked Chat

M. The striking black face, throat and wings, with buff underparts distinguish it from all other species in the region.

F. Orange-buff rump separates it from juv Capped Wheatear.

Juv. Similar to ♀ but spotted above and scaled with blackish below.

Status Locally common endemic, with some winter altitudinal movements. Usually in pairs or small family parties.

Habitat Boulder-strewn hillsides, rocky outcrops; sometimes on the edge of settlements and farmyards.

Food Insectivorous, some seed and nectar from Aloes.

Call Loud combination of whistles, trills and harsh notes in short quick phrases.

Br. Monogamous, but often with nest helpers. Large bulky cup placed below boulder, occasionally concealed by grass tuft.

Image

4. Female Buff-streaked Chat

Ad female: Upper parts brown, faintly streaked darker. Supercilium pale buff to greyish brown; narrow, indistinct. Rump orange-buff to cinnamon-buff. Tail black. Entire underparts cinnamon-buff, breast streaked brownish.

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5. Crowned Cormorant

Sexes Alike. Has a longer crest (which is retained throughout the year) and shorter, less graduated tail than Reed Cormorant. Found almost entirely in marine habitats.

Br. Plumage glossy black, facial skin pink-red and eyes ruby red.

Non-br. Paler and browner, facial skin pink-brown.

Juv. Dark brown, paler below (not whitish as in juv Reed Cormorant); lacks crest.

Status Uncommon to rare, regarded as Near-threatened because of low population size. Gregarious.

Habitat Open coast and on offshore islands; rare in estuaries.

Food Mainly fish, also crustaceans, molluscs and polychaete worms.

Call Generally silent away from colonies.

Br. Monogamous and colonial.

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6. White-breasted Cuckooshrike (Female)

M. White underparts, grey throat and upperparts and conspicuous black eye distinctive; slightly larger than a Laughing Dove.

F. Chin and upper throat white.

Juv. Barred black and white on grey above; below spotted black.

Status Uncommon resident; may be territorial throughout the year, some with altitudinal movements in the dry season.

Habitat Well developed woodland, particularly miombo and mopane.

Food Insectivorous, feeding mainly on caterpillars.

Call ♂ gives whistled duid-duid calls; ♀ a trilled chreeeeee.

Br. Monogamous. Shallow cup well camouflaged with lichen, placed 6-20 m high on thick branch or in a horizontal fork.

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7. Fiscal Flycatcher

Sexes Similar, ♂ upperparts black; ♀ upperparts dark grey-brown, chin and throat 'dirty' off-white. Confusion most likely with Common Fiscal (which is larger and with a longer tail), but lacks the heavier hooked bill and the white 'V' on the back and shoulder. Both sexes show a white wingbar.

Juv. Upperparts dull as in ♀, spotted rufous brown, underparts mottled grey brown. Status Common endemic, sedentary in the south but altitudinal movements undertaken by most northern populations in winter.

Habitat Open woodland, from moist to semi-arid regions. Frequent resident in gardens, especially in W Cape.

Food Insects. Also small fruit and nectar from aloes.

Call High pitched wheezing notes and whistles. Mimics other species.

Br. Monogamous. The bulky cup nest built by the ♀ is usually placed in a thorn tree. Incubation by ♀ only.

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8. Shelley’s Francolin

Sexes Alike, ♂ > ♀. The boldly marked black border to the white throat, and the black speckling to the lower breast and belly are the most distinctive features.

Juv. Resembles ad; black and white breast barring irregular.

Status Generally an uncommon resident, sedentary and forming coveys of 4-8 birds during the non-br season.

Habitat Favours tall moist sweetveld grasslands and open wooded savanna often on stony terrain or among rocky outcrops.

Food Corms, bulbs and seeds during winter, with increased insect intake during the breeding season.

Call Has very distinctive 4 note call I'll drink YOUR beer repeated 3-4x.

Br. Monogamous. Usually lays 4-5 eggs in a shallow scrape well concealed in grassland or under a bush. Has 2 separate breeding peaks in Zimbabwe.

(ID descriptions from Roberts' Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa.)
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Re: Birding school for ducklings.

Unread post by hilda » Mon May 18, 2015 10:29 am

Karin Mitton wrote: right back at you!


:lol: :lol: What's more, I have the Raptor Guide! In fact I have two, because the Ducklings don't want to win it! :thumbs_up:

Hi Ducklings,

Sorry I'm late, but I have extended the time with two hours to give our last participant his well deserved 2nd chance, like all of you had.

We had 8 participants in this challenge. The scores were as follows (mostly 2nd scores):

Two 'mites scored 8/8
Three 'mites scored 7/8
One 'mite scored 6/8
One 'mite scored 5/8
One 'mite scored 4/8

Here are the answers to Duckling Challenge #15/2015:

Image

No. 1 = Karoo Long-billed Lark

Sexes Alike, ♂ > ♀ and bill considerably longer. Colour and size varies considerably across range. Greyish nape contrasts with rest of rufous-brown upperparts. Darker and more streaked above than Eastern Long-billed Lark. Streaking on underparts does not extend onto flanks and undertail. Northern populations slightly larger and less streaked than nearby populations of Benguela Long-billed Lark.
Juv. Browner above with buff tips to feathers.
Status The most common long-billed lark, endemic, solitary and found singly or in pairs. Habitat Semi-arid shrublands, and grassy shrublands.
Food Mainly insects and seeds.
Call A loud descending whistle peeeuuuu, preceded by soft whi (heard only from close).
Br. Monogamous. Cup nest placed at base of shrub or stone.

Image

No. 2 = Osprey

Sexes Similar, ♀ heavier and with bolder breast streaking. The long wings and tail, gull-like flight action, white underparts and broad blackish band through the eye, and yellow eyes distinguishes it from juv African Fish Eagle (which lacks a black face mask).
Juv. Paler than adults, with white edges to dark upperparts.
Status Mostly an uncommon non-br Palaearctic migrant; arrive Aug-Sept and depart by May with some over-winter records (mostly juvs).
Habitat Aquatic, especially estuaries and lagoons; also inland lakes.
Food Almost entirely fish.
Call Melodious whistle but usually silent in s Africa.
Br. Monogamous; only 2 historical nest records in this region.

Image

No. 3 = Rufous-eared Warbler

Sexes Similar, ♂ with brighter 'ear' patch and more prominent throat band. Confusion with other species unlikely.
Juv. Similar to ad but black collar indistinct.
Status Common endemic, generally sedentary and in pairs or small family parties.
Habitat Arid and semi-arid shrublands.
Food Insectivorous, also small fruit. Call Monotonous and rapid tee-tee-tee…
Br. Monogamous and opportunistic after rain. Oval nest close to ground.

Image

No. 4 = Grey-headed Parrot

Sexes Similar, ♀ sometimes with small patch of orange on forecrown. Very similar to Cape Parrot but with grey (not olive-brown) head, and no overlap in distribution. Much smaller Meyer's and Brown-headed parrots have yellow (not red) shoulder and underwing patches.
Juv. Head paler grey, both sexes with orange-red on forehead, lost by ♂ at 6-8 months.
Status Widespread but uncommon resident, nomadic in non-br season in search of food. Habitat Riparian and lowland woodland, usually with Baobab trees present.
Food Primarily kernels of unripe fruit such as Marula, Nyala-tree, corkwoods (Commiphora), and terminalias or cluster-leaf trees (Terminalia); also fruit flesh.
Call Loud and raucous tzu-weee call notes.
Br. Monogamous. Nests high in tree cavities.

Image

No. 5 = Sub-adult Spurwinged Goose

The largest goose-like duck in the region. Could be confused with much smaller Knob-billed Duck in flight but white on forewing and underwing conspicuous.
Sexes ♂ > ♀. M. Red facial skin more prominent and extends beyond eye. F. Similar to ♂ but duller and facial skin less extensive.
Juv. Browner than ad and without red facial skin.
Status Common resident forming large flocks in non-br season.
Habitat Large inland waters, dams, floodplains and adjacent cultivated lands.
Food Mainly plant material, especially grass shoots, aquatic plants, and seeds.
Call A weak high-pitched cherwit mostly in flight.
Br. Monogamous; usually nests in dense cover near water.

Image

No. 6 = Lesser Spotted Eagle

Sexes Alike, ♀ > ♂. Overall brownish colour, similar to larger Steppe Eagle and smaller Wahlberg's Eagle. Smaller and weaker billed than Tawny Eagle. When perched, best identified by 'stove-pipe' lower leggings (not as baggy as in smaller Wahlberg's Eagle) and yellowish eyes. Head shape distinctive with long loose (floppy) nape feathers. In flight, tail shortish and rounded, and base of primaries white giving a distinct window appearance from above. From below, wing coverts usually paler than dark flight feathers.
Juv. Upperwing coverts flecked white, nape streaked buff or rufous, eyes brown. In flight from above; white crescent at base of tail, and narrow white line separating flight feathers from wing coverts. From below, white underwing line not as bold as in Steppe Eagle.
Status Generally an uncommon and localised non-br Palaearctic migrant; gregarious. Present Oct-Mar.
Habitat Open woodland.
Food Termites (flocks with Steppe Eagles at alate emergences); also nestlings, rodents and frogs.

Image

No. 7 = Lizard Buzzard

Sexes Alike, ♀ > ♂. Most similar to Gabar Goshawk but stockier in appearance, but black throat stripe through white chin diagnostic. Single white tail band conspicuous in flight (recorded with double tail band, but uncommon).
Juv. Upperparts have pale brown wash, cere and feet paler than those of adult.
Status Uncommon to locally common resident, largely sedentary but tends to move to drier open woodland in the winter months. Usually found singly.
Habitat Savanna woodland, especially broad-leaved woodland such as miombo (Brachystegia). Food Mainly lizards, small snakes, rodents, frogs and invertebrates.
Call Main call a loud and distinctive kli-ooo-kluklukluklu.
Br. Monogamous. Stick nest built by both adults, usually 6-10 m high in main fork of tree.

Image

No. 8 = Black-browed Albatros

Sexes Alike, ♂ > ♀.Wingspan 2.1-2.5 m. Combination of yellow-orange bill (orange-red tip) and broad black margins to underwing distinctive. Prominent blackish eyebrow more sharply defined behind eye; central white underwing stripe variable, according to age.
Juv. Like ad; underwing darker, bill grey with black tip and has grey collar.
Status Common, especially in s and w coasts where it is the most abundant albatross in the winter months; large numbers aggregate at fishing vessels. Less common further north, especially on the e coast (mainly winter). Listed as Near-threatened primarily due to longline fishing mortalities
Habitat Open ocean, particularly at shelf break and more common over inshore waters than other albatrosses.
Food Mainly crustaceans, fish and squid; also fishery discards.
Call Groans and croaks at food sources.

Thank you all for taking part in this challenge! You have all done very well! :gflower:
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