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Thread: Bird ID please?...

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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    Bird ID please?...

    Not the greatest of shots, but same size and look of the sunbirds up here, but in grey?...








    Here's the yellow one.









    This is a finch of some sort l think? but a bit too far away. This pic is heavily cropped.










    Threw this in, a green ants nest, the size of a golf ball. Cheers.

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    Ausphotography Addict Gazza's Avatar
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    Looks like a Red-browed Finch, but the yellow wings bugger that theory?
    If you replace the 'W' with 'T' in When, Where and What, you get the answer for each question.
    CC more than welcome. Remember, I can't be offended so go for it. Feel free to post your ideas with an edit if you have time. Thanks in advance.



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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    The first i don't know, but it looks sort of immature, the second looks like a female Olive-backed sunbird, and I reckon the third is indeed a Red-browed finch.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Could the first be a Dusky Honeyeater?

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    G'day Feathers,


    The second one is an immature Yellow-bellied Sunbird, the finch is Red-browed.

    The first one is the hard one. It's another immature. Only a few small honeyeater-size birds have a bill like that: I can think of the two spinebills, the Certionix honeyeaters (Banded, Black, and Pied), the Myzomela honeyeaters (Scarlet, Red-headed, and Dusky), and the Yellow-bellied Sunbird.

    It's not a Sunbird or a spinebill; nor is it one of the Certionix three (only one would ever been seen in Cooktown anyway). That leaves the three Myzomela species, and at first glance it could be any of them. My guess is Scarlet because of the hint of a red patch developing under the chin (which could also suggest Red-headed). Or maybe that red patch is an artifact of the light, in which case Dusky is the likely choice - the bill seems more like a dusky than anything else. And then there seem to be some strange light and dark shade things going on on the flank which look very like immature Banded Honeyeater. (Or are they just shadows?)

    This is a ripper on an ID challenge! I could probably tie it down if I hauled HANZAB out, but first let's see if (a) someone else can nail it for us, or (b) you can find a couple of other shots (no matter how bad, anything from a different angle would be great.
    Last edited by Tannin; 23-06-2017 at 3:23pm.
    Tony

    It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Well, I'm going to score myself a win off the back of Tony's reply

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    Thanks Gazza, Jim, and Tony for the input on ID Tony, l have seen them here a couple of times of late, and will try for some more pics. Cheers.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    This is a ripper on an ID challenge!
    So we need an ID for thee first still.
    Is this 20 minutes research well spent for me.
    The markings on the wings suggest a Red-headed Honeyeater.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Damnit, I'll get HANZAB out ....

    .... 40 minutes later, I'm still uncertain.

    It is definitely a Myzomela species, probably immature, but I think we were already agreed about that. Normally you can pick the two red ones on range - but not in Cooktown! With all those shadows criss-crossing the bird, I don't think we can really decide much on the basis of colouration, so we have to look harder at shape.

    I reckon the bill is too long and curved for Red-headed. (I'd thought that before, HANZAB makes it ... er, I was going to say "clear" but "clear" is not an appropriate term in this context ... "tends to confirm it", let us say.) I'm moderately confident of that. Is the bill long enough to be Dusky? I'm thinking no, but with less confidence. The yellow on the lower bill fits perfectly with Scarlet ... and with Red-headed .... and with Dusky. The evidence of the bill, in short, says probably Scarlet, could be Dusky, probably not Red-headed.

    The orange-brown wash on the head is another clue. (I know, I said I don't trust the colours, but we have to go on whever evidence we have and I'm grasping at straws.) The fact that it's there at all (if it is really there!) is characteristic of both Red-headed and Scarlet, but I'm not confident enough of the colour in the picture to entirely rule out Dusky. So far as we can tell, the red wash is below the bill, around the cheek to below and behind the eye, and also on the area immediately above the bill. Is that a bit more red on the crown? Or not? All we can really say is that the colour under the chin leans us more toward Red-headed than Scarlet. The evidence of the red feathers, in short, says possibly Red-headed, could be Scarlet, probably not Dusky. But it's rather dubious evidence.

    I don't know what to make of the wing colours. From the photograph I just can't be sure what is colour of the bird and what is shadowing. On immature males, HANZAB says "Scarlet always has some, and often much, black feathering in saddle". Does that help us?

    In the very limited areas where they overlap, apparently Red-headed usually prefers mangroves and adjacent woodlands; Scarlet woodlands and foothill forest.

    Now we come to the tail. It's awkward to tell from this angle, but my judgement is that the tail is too long for Red-headed, and possibly not quite long enough for Dusky. Also, I expect Duskys to be more elegant. (In my experience, a Dusky Honeyeater could put out the garbage bin wearing trackies and slippers and still look like a supermodel. They don't know how not to be graceful.) The evidence of the tail, in short, says probably Scarlet, could be Dusky, probably not Red-headed.


    Anyway, I'm going with Scarlet Honeyeater, but only on the balance of probabilities. If I was a Crown Prosecutor I'd put the Scarlet chap on trial as the most likely suspect and see what the court makes of the case. If I was the jury, I'd have to say "reasonable doubt remains, not guilty".

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