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Ask a birding question...

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Have you got a question to put to any of our Safaritalk birding experts? Need a bird photo identified? Then add it to this topic and hopefully you'll get an answer :)

 

Matt

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What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

 

An African or European Swallow?

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:D South African Swallow Hirundo spilodera. :)

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This must be the Holy Grail of Safaritalk threads!

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What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Almost killed my computer spewing my tea all over it. :lol:

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I thought it was a fitting first question for this thread ;)

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And now for something completely different....

 

I recently read that African Harrier Hawks (Gymnogenes) sometimes fly in flocks with Pied Crows so as to avoid detection by their prey (or avoid detection by adult weavers who would protect their nests).

Despite having done a bit of research on the gymnogene (in one of the volumes of "Birds of Africa" and Roberts Birds), I had never heard of this before, and I can't say that I've ever witnessed it first hand. The house I grew up in had a resident gymnogene nearby who, with some regularity, raided the Baglafecht weavers' nests. There were also many Pied crows around, but I never noticed the connection between the two species.

 

Does anyone know more about this? Confirmations? Nay-sayers?

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Posted (edited)

And now for something completely different....

 

I recently read that African Harrier Hawks (Gymnogenes) sometimes fly in flocks with Pied Crows so as to avoid detection by their prey (or avoid detection by adult weavers who would protect their nests).

Despite having done a bit of research on the gymnogene (in one of the volumes of "Birds of Africa" and Roberts Birds), I had never heard of this before, and I can't say that I've ever witnessed it first hand. The house I grew up in had a resident gymnogene nearby who, with some regularity, raided the Baglafecht weavers' nests. There were also many Pied crows around, but I never noticed the connection between the two species.

 

Does anyone know more about this? Confirmations? Nay-sayers?

 

Can't say I have ever seen this. I have often witnessed African H-H getting mobbed by Pied Crows in The Gambia and there appears to be no love lost between them!

I fall in the nay-sayer camp! :ph34r:

Edited by Rainbirder
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This photo was taken at Okaukeujo in August this year. This small bird was constantly flitting in the treetop next to our chalet.

 

My best guess is a Tinkling Cisticola, what do the experts think?

 

 

P1010052.JPG

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Pol

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Unfortunately I'm not that familiar with the birds in tht area (actually, I don't even knw where that area is!), but my firs impression was very prinia. Tinkling cist should have a streaked back, I believe. If you're sure it's a cisticola, are you in lazy range there? Otherwise the reddish eye hits at TFP to me...

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Can someone please identify this bird for me? It was taken at Chitabe camp in the Okavango delta. it may be very common for all I know?

 

408237_2397457473603_1280478050_n.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Egyptian goose.

 

They are actually quite common, but there are a lot of common birds that I never seem to learn.

Edited by Pangolin

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Thank you. We tried to remember the names of all of the beautiful birds that we saw but were ultimately overwhelmed by the number of new to us sightings. That also applies to some of the grazers / browsers as well. I'm still going through photos (took far too many) and my level of confusion is mounting. Perhaps, when I finish the trip report, I'll post pictures in it and ask members here to tell me what we're looking at. :blink:

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This photo was taken at Okaukeujo in August this year. This small bird was constantly flitting in the treetop next to our chalet.

 

My best guess is a Tinkling Cisticola, what do the experts think?

 

 

P1010052.JPG

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Pol

Like TZ I'm pretty sure this is not a Cisticola -the bill looks wrong.

It is very Prinia-like but seems to be showing a lot of yellow in the underparts and looks brighter than I would expect for a Tawny-flanked Prinia. The image doesn't show the front of the bird but there is the slightest hint of black feathering where the neck feathers join the (hidden) upper chest and so I wondered whether this could be a Black-chested Prinia (Prinia flavicans). Do you have any additional images?

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Thank you. We tried to remember the names of all of the beautiful birds that we saw but were ultimately overwhelmed by the number of new to us sightings. That also applies to some of the grazers / browsers as well. I'm still going through photos (took far too many) and my level of confusion is mounting. Perhaps, when I finish the trip report, I'll post pictures in it and ask members here to tell me what we're looking at. :blink:

 

No worries. We Pacific Northwesterners need to stick together and look out for each other. B)

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I too thought this might be a juvenile Black-chested Prinia. However, my field guide says: "In non-breeding plumage, when breast band is much reduced or absent, could be mistaken for Tawny-flanked Prinia, but lacks russet edges to its wing and tail feathers." This guy seems to have that russet coloration especially in its wings which I think might be diagnostic for Tawny. It also says juvenile Tawny is washed yellow below. Hope Pol has a frontal view showing the neck.

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TZbirder, Rainbirder and Ovenbird thanks so much for your help. Here is another photo of the bird, not a good one though. I agree, its most likely a black chested prinia.

 

P1010051.JPG?gl=AU

 

Regards,

 

 

Pol.

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Posted (edited)

Can someone please identify this bird for me? It was taken at Chitabe camp in the Okavango delta. it may be very common for all I know?

 

408237_2397457473603_1280478050_n.jpg

Egyptian goose

and

Egyptian goose upside down

Edited by dikdik
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Posted (edited)

Egyptian goose

and

Egyptian goose upside down

 

It's name is Egyptian Goose, but it's actually a duck, whether upside down or not :D

Edited by johnkok

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Posted (edited)

Just returning to the pied crows thing, coincidentally three days ago I watched pied crows mobbing a hawk that wasn't apparently too bothered and wondered what it was all about. The question is what are they doing together so frequently at all? Or is it simply coincidence?

 

And my related question is...... Are there reasons other than stealing prey or protection of nests or territory (the same thing?) that birds would mob other birds?

 

 

It's name is Egyptian Goose, but it's actually a duck, whether upside down or not :D

 

So that means that my Mum did know more than our guide after all when she shouted "Ooh a duck". I will never live it down if she finds out. :lol:

Edited by pault
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What is the name of this bird? He was photographed the first week of November in Sabi Sands, S,A.

 

gallery_22564_950_77175.jpg

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@@Terry

 

It is an Arrow-marked Babbler (Turdoides Jardineii)

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Posted (edited)

It is an Arrowmarked Babbler.

 

Yep. What @@mvecht said. He replied whilst I was typing.

Edited by Geoff
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