Primary confusion

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Primary confusion
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 17:06:22 +1000
I think it begs the question as to why people use qualitative terms for things like primary projection. It would make a lot more sense if they used ranges - eg 5-10 mm is far more useful than "short", "medium" or "long". It is commonly done for variables such as leg and bill length.

The rules of thumb that get quoted in identification summaries are certainly interesting. I saw one which listed bill:loral length ratios for LS and RNS. I don't know if it holds water though.

Regards, Laurie.

On 13/04/2008, at 3:38 PM, Jeff Davies wrote:
G'day Laurie,

I hardly think this merits a posting on the forum. In defence of David Eades
who wrote the section you have quoted, he later states that "primary
projection similar but shorter wings" for Little Stint. And he wrote this within an expansive ID text which paid no attention to it as a means for
separating Little from Red-necked Stint for good reason, there is
essentially no difference between them. The so called "longer primary
projection" you refer to from a number of sources would be relative to
Semipalmated and Western Sandpipers. Not a major issue for Australia.

Cheers Jeff.

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of L&L Knight
Sent: Saturday, 12 April 2008 10:35 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Primary confusion

I've been consulting the reference books on the finer points of stint
identification and have discovered some contradictions where primary
projection is concerned.

In Hayman's [Shorebirds] stint comparison chart [p. 398],
Little Stints are listed as having long primary projection and Red-
necked Stints are listed as having medium primary projection.

In contrast, HANZAB notes that adult Little Stints have short primary
projection [moderate in juveniles - p. 250], while primary projection
for Red-necked Stints  is "moderate in adults and juveniles (similar
to that of Little Stint)" p. 258.  I assume the author means that RNS
have similar primary projection to juvenile LS.

The Wikipedia [,
 ] entries note long primary projection for both stints.  Indeed just
about every online reference I've come across notes long primary
projection to both species.

Why is HANZAB "out of line"?  Is it using a different definition of
primary projection?

Regards, Laurie.

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