|To:||"'mariko buszynski'" <>|
|From:||"Philip Veerman" <>|
|Date:||Sat, 1 Feb 2014 15:11:58 +1100|
Some comments on this:
As for: When I saw a female Satin Bowerbird in our garden, I can tell you that when something is as distinctive (and common) as that, you can take 99% as 100% and you really don't need to ask. That is the situation when there is no other similar species. That is as far as IDing the species goes. However if the question is about that you want to pick between adult female cf, juvenile, well maybe you can't be 100% sure but not 99% either.
As for: I now have a field guide to Canberra birds If you mean Taylor & Day, whilst that is mostly adequate and it has some curious innovations. It only works as far as it goes, it is now in many cases outdated in terms of the frequency at which species occur here, it has more than a spattering of errors but most obviously many bits where so much important ID information is simply lacking. e.g. look how much blank space there is, for information not given on the falcon page. If the answer is not immediately available from that book, then you need a better reference.
As fro: I also find identifying immature birds very difficult. Well that may be because a book you use may not show it and may mostly only show adults. Other than that, they may not always be more difficult than adults.
As for: An immature Grey Butcherbird was not grey at all. I first thought it could be a young Kookaburra. Well it is a different colour and yes they have big head and big beak (only vaguely like a Kookaburra) but I promise that in shape and posture it looks more like an adult Grey Butcherbird than it looks like a Kookaburra. That is a good clue as to what species it is. And that is a good general rule.
From: mariko buszynski [
Sent: Friday, 31 January 2014 3:04 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Bird ID
I would like to make a comment on bird identification. When I see an unusual bird in our garden I want to make sure it is the bird I think. When I saw a female Satin Bowerbird in our garden for the first time I was 99% sure of its identification. But in the past I made a wrong identification and surprised experienced birders. (It was not in Australia). They never laughed at me but were simply surprised that I should see such a bird in such a place and at such a time. I now have a field guide to Canberra birds so I would not make a wildly wrong guess but I want to have a confirmation. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I cannot keep up with modern technology and cannot send a photo to the chatline. I wait for monthly meetings to accost members with my blurred photo. I sometimes forget to bring my camera to a meeting. I wish I could send it to the chatline, people are so helpful.
I also find identifying immature birds very difficult. An immature Grey Butcherbird was not grey at all. I first thought it could be a young Kookaburra.
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