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Birds of Ghana


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#41 Abena

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:05 PM

Here's another one - I've seen this guy/gal hanging around where I'm living now and was lucky enough to have it hold still so I could get some photos.  This looks to me like a Blue-Breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon malimbica).  I could identify it as a Kingfisher and went from there on the internet.  The blue breast patch is not too noticeable, but perhaps this is a juvenile.  Interestingly, this is a forest kingfisher and eats things other than fish like insects, arthropods, frogs and even the palm oil fruit!  Quite a character too.  I love the "what are YOU looking at" look of the middle photo!

 

gallery_17433_1229_3264329.jpg

gallery_17433_1229_2047478.jpggallery_17433_1229_4872832.jpg


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#42 mvecht

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:23 PM

@Abena

 

I am not 100% sure but I think it is a Woodland Kingfisher



#43 Abena

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:43 PM

hi @mvecht!  Thanks for the suggestion - I like this description of the Woodland's vocalization from Wikipedia: "The call of this noisy kingfisher is a loud trill sounding like a nail run down the teeth of a comb."  I shall have to listen for that!  I'm sure I heard it calling the other morning but I'll need to pay closer attention.  The two birds look very similar but the Blue Breasted is larger.  Looking at a photo of the Woodland, I see that it has less black on the wings and no blue on the breast and the bird I photographed did not appear to have blue on the breast.  I'd love to capture this bird in flight!


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#44 wilddog

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 04:00 PM

@Abena To be honest I looked at my book and cannot  see that this fits any that are pictured there.  (Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara)

 

It is like the woodland but no blue head. In my books the blue breasted is very pale blue, not the vivid blue of the woodland, and has a back back, so still does not quite match yours.

 

Lets call in an expert ? @inyathi can you help with this bird in Ghana or are there any others out there who know the birds in Western Africa


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#45 mvecht

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 04:30 PM

@wilddog

 

Not all Woodland Kingfishers have blue on the head but rather grey which is why they can be confused with the Mangrove Kingfisher that by the way is not found in Ghana.

If you check the Pictures available on Google you will see plenty of birds with grey heads.

 

From my information there are 12 possible species in Ghana and the Woodland Kingfisher is the only one that fits the Pictures.


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#46 wilddog

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:06 PM

Ok. Thanks for clarifying.

I saw the Mangrove one and had noted it is not in that area, hence not mentioning it in my post.
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#47 inyathi

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 07:06 PM

Yes this is definitely a woodland kingfisher, the blue-breasted which is a Central and West African species and I assume reasonably common in Ghana is a bit larger than the woodland but the main obvious distinguishing feature is that the very dark blue on the wings extends right across the back, in the last photo you can clearly see this is not the case, This bird has a bright/light blue back that means that of the 5 Halcyon kingfishers that occur in Ghana it can only be the woodland Halcyon senegalensis if you type blue-breasted kingfisher in to Google and click images you will see the difference. In the first photo you can't see the birds back however the black eye stripe on the blue-breasted extends behind the eye and if you zoom in on the photo you can see that on this bird it doesn't.

 

@Abena in case you don't have this book here is a link to the Birds of Ghana where you can see the difference.


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#48 Abena

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 11:46 AM

Thanks everyone for clarification on the species!  Birds of Ghana looks like the field guide to have!


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#49 Abena

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 04:31 PM

I'm still just fascinated that there are species of inland kingfishers that feed on things other than fish - even palm oil fruits!  I'm still waiting to see this bird again and hopefully hear its vocalization, which sounds very distinct for the Woodland Kingfisher.


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#50 Tom Kellie

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 05:00 PM

I'm still just fascinated that there are species of inland kingfishers that feed on things other than fish - even palm oil fruits!  I'm still waiting to see this bird again and hopefully hear its vocalization, which sounds very distinct for the Woodland Kingfisher.

 

~ @Abena

 

I share your sense of wonder.

 

The diversity of birds is a source of immense pleasure.

 

Growing up, I too thought of kingfishers as being exclusively fish-eaters.

 

I feel fortunate to have lived long enough to outgrow my skewed preconceptions.

 

Your active posting on this thread is a delight!

 

Tom K.



#51 Abena

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 04:30 PM

Little Bee Eater (Merops pusillus) - (best guess referring to the ST birds of Africa index) - Photo credit to @godfried

 

These were sighted on Lake Tadane, in Ghana's Western Region, close to the coast near the border with Cote d'Ivoire.  The location on the lake is also the site of "the village on stilts" - Nzulezo Village - a village built in the lake, entirely on stilts. 

 

gallery_17433_1229_2473150.jpg


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#52 Tom Kellie

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:02 AM

These were sighted on Lake Tadane, in Ghana's Western Region, close to the coast near the border with Cote d'Ivoire.  The location on the lake is also the site of "the village on stilts" - Nzulezo Village - a village built in the lake, entirely on stilts. 

 

~ @Abena

 

Thank you for the nice bee-eater image by @godfried.

 

Have you personally visited “the village on stilts”?

 

Tom K.



#53 Abena

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 06:39 AM

Hi @Tom K. - I haven't been there yet - @godfried was there with clients recently.  I'll post a picture or two of the village - it looks amazing!


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