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GAME: name that bird!


Jochen

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Galana
8 hours ago, Tom Kellie said:

wondering if the plant had been pulled up shortly before the bird's arrival.

 

Is there a multi-petalled white bloom in the center?

Yes and yes. The 'flower' as such is sort of like  a globe shape (I am no botanist) much resembling a compact thistle Xd with an 'everlasting flower' if you follow me.

 

As to why it was deracinated I blame the locals. I was curious and went back to that walk (from Tierser Alpl Hut to Bozen Hut and back) to see if I could nail the perpetrator in the act. Sadly no but I suspect the Alpine Marmot or maybe a Chamois.

 

 

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I've always viewed the thread "Where was the picture taken" as an extension of this thread "Name the bird", except that the former had to have a picture of wildlife, not necessary a bird. I think both

Woo Hoo! You got it. @mvecht It is a female Jungle Bush Quail. Shot (with a camera ) in Ranthambhore n November 2019     and here is the male    

~ Dear Friends @Soukousand @Galana:   Thank you so much for your kind comments above. I'm grateful for your interest in the East Asian students who have enjoyed playing this game.  

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Galana

Turning now to the job in hand a bird with that Brown Ear just has to be a Brown-eared Woodpecker although it is not a good fit for my field guide.

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mvecht

@Galana  correct, Brown eared Woodpecker is not a good fit:rolleyes:

 

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Galana

Well one had to try if only to eliminate the obvious.:)

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mvecht

@Galana May I suggest that you find another field guide?

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Galana

Yes. Thanks. I had come to that conclusion.

:lol:

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Galana

I don't think there is a smiley for 'smug' but that is how I am feeling right now.

 

I have just discovered a new trick which I must patent.:)

1280px-The_brown-eared_bulbul_after_playing_with_water.jpg.8e4cae738464d5ae7da748b79ae6f4be.jpg

Courtesy of somebody called Laitche on wiki.

I followed my own rule and bingo.

Brown-eared Bulbul.

 

No Field Guide needed which is just as well as I don't have one for the Phillipines. (How's that @Tom KellieTom?)

 

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mvecht

@Galana knowing that you go by your own rule I was going to tell you that it is not a Brown-eared Pheasant:D

It is correct that it is a Brown-eared Bulbul. Northern Phillipines seems to be the far south of its range but it is very common in Japan and Korea so a field guide for Japan/Korea would have been very useful

The picture was taken in a park in Gangnam (Seoul), South Korea.

Over to you.

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Soukous

and a very nice looking Bulbul it is too

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Tom Kellie

~ @Galana:

 

I agree with @Soukous.

 

That's a terrific image of the Brown-eared Bulbul, a species unfamiliar to yours truly.

 

The water droplets...the eye...the plumage...all vivid.

 

My former students are familiar with several bulbul species, therefore this one may expand their awareness, as it did mine.

 

It's especially interesting that @mvechtmade the original image in South Korea's capital.

 

Thank you for explaining how the alpine plant might have been deracinated.

 

The students and I had speculated that local residents might have been collecting medicinal plants, as that's a common practice where they live.

 

This game has substantial educational value, thanks to the experience and insight of those who participate.

 

          Tom K.

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Galana
1 hour ago, Tom Kellie said:

This game has substantial educational value, thanks to the experience and insight of those who participate.

This accolade must include your goodself too. I had to look up deracinate in my Dictionary.;)

So thank you for that. Now for an opportunity to drop it into conversation at maybe a dinner party. "I say? Do our think this celery was cut or deracinated"?  Even the spellchecker queries it.

 

@mvechtMy rule true enough but I have never thought to google "brown-eared" before. and yes Pheasant was not there but Bulbul was so bearing in mind your image looked woodpecker ish I was able to switch genera quicker than I maybe would have. I had already burned through my Field Guides for India and Ecuador for Woodpeckers.:rolleyes: prior to my Eureka moment.

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Galana

Here is another offering for Adult and Students alike.

See what you make of it.

479847310_bird(2).JPG.1b7e62d94d087cf992aabc381d912e8b.JPG

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Tom Kellie

~ @Galana:

 

Youthful student energy includes a willingness to challenge instructors, which is frequently a necessary corrective.

 

Yours truly adduced various factors about your image above with a possible identification.

 

No sooner than having done so, several astute young naturalists firmly pointed out the flaws in my reasoning.

 

I'd thought that the bird depicted was a female with certain telling characteristics.

 

They stressed the absence of a more prominent eye-wattle ring, the lack of raised plumage on the head, and the distinctive bill.

 

As if that weren't enough, they affectionately mocked my reluctance to suggest a subspecies.

 

*************************

 

This game is enjoyable, in that it refines perceptions, encourages careful scrutiny, and rewards systematic taxonomic analysis.

 

What tickled me was that after eviscerating my tentative identification, they were all chary of proposing their own, more accurate identification!

 

Such is youth.

 

More reflection is needed, as I wait for those with greater experience and awareness to make the appropriate identification.

 

Once again, my gratitude for your providing a worthy challenge from your extensive travels.

 

              Tom K.

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Soukous
7 hours ago, Tom Kellie said:

Youthful student energy includes a willingness to challenge instructors, which is frequently a necessary corrective....

 

No sooner than having done so, several astute young naturalists firmly pointed out the flaws in my reasoning.

 

I think it is fascinating - and wonderful - that there are students in China who will engage in the challenges of this competition. Identifying  birds that they have probably never seen nor are likely to see. 

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Galana
11 hours ago, Tom Kellie said:

they were all chary of proposing their own, more accurate identification!

 

Such is youth.

Indeed. They will no doubt learn, if they have not already, that it is so much easier to say what it is not than to say what it is which is really the point of the game.:lol:

Keep them coming Tom.

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Tom Kellie

~ Dear Friends @Soukousand @Galana:

 

Thank you so much for your kind comments above. I'm grateful for your interest in the East Asian students who have enjoyed playing this game.

 

They're a lively, fun-loving group. Laughter, affectionate teasing, and cheerful banter is their style. As teenagers, they're fairly uninhibited.

 

When I'd gingerly floated the possibility that the most recent bird image might depict a female Tersiphone viridis, their light-hearted mockery was almost immediate.

 

They questioned whether or not I needed a fresh eyeglass prescription. Heavyhanded jocularity in pointing out what they felt I'd overlooked was batted back and forth by several.

 

When I asked if they'd care to suggest a more accurate identification and/or subspecies, two of them immediately commented that I was a professor whilst they were mere secondary students.

 

And so it goes...

 

*********************

 

After I retired at 65 from a couple of decades of university life science (field ecology) instruction and research in China, I was invited to southern China.

 

Teaching small private classes to young teenagers was initially daunting, as I was unfamiliar with their argot and outlook.

 

Their fascination with smartphones and gaming was especially vexing, as I've never used a smartphone nor have I ever played an electronic game.

 

I had the misconception that their enjoyment derived from the thrill of eradicating various electronic beasties.

 

What became clear after listening to them was that electronic gaming in and of itself was far less satisfying than the intense social interaction with friends while playing.

 

Both female and male teenagers relish the social interaction while playing games, which has been intensified during the isolation caused by school lockdowns.

 

*********************

 

Their interest in Safaritalk's “Name That Bird!” game derives from the fun of joshing one another while exercising their fledgling abilities in species identification.

 

From their viewpoint, the bird species (or reptile, invertebrate, fish or mammal species) are akin to electronic game icons, albeit actual living organisms.

 

They're seldom concerned about ever going on game drives to spot such species, instead focussing on the unsolved mystery of identification of something beyond their immediate experience.

 

That such a competition facilitates pleasant intellectual banter with pals, and the opportunity to tease an old professor, increases their fun.

 

They are mindful that the bird species are part of the environment, which somehow upgrades the game over purely electronic virtual games in their way of perceiving the competition.

 

From my perspective, it's “if you can't beat ’em, join ’em”.

 

To draw them into taxonomic assessment, to broaden their sense of global biomes, and to hone their abilities of fine discrimination of visual differences, having a game format is effective.

 

********************

 

Again, thank you for your encouraging comments. With the irregular school situation in Hong Kong at present, there's interest in doing anything fun which is also educational.

 

A 14 year old wrote yesterday asking if I'd allow him to take part with others in “playing that bird game”. Safaritalk's educational reach is broad, thanks to both of you and all others who regularly post in the various forums.

 

With Appreciation,

 

                                Tom K.

 

 

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Galana
5 hours ago, Tom Kellie said:

two of them immediately commented that I was a professor whilst they were mere secondary students.

To which my Professor would reply "And you are likely to remain so when I mark your end of term results!":P

 

I did wonder if anyone would be lured by Tersiphone viridis as there are distinct similarities in appearance if not location.

 

Good to learn that we are providing a useful service to Education.

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Galana

It seems to have gone quiet or are the Students  enjoying time away from their studies.

 

Here is another view of the bird to see that inspires anyone to have a go.

1-DSCN0008.JPG.a68c9874b298b2caad9a7b3935bb4ec1.JPG

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Tom Kellie

~ @Galana:

 

Thank you so much for refreshing the challenge with another image. You're being awfully accommodating, which is highly appreciated.

 

Of late the mercurial teenagers have flitted off to another question, to wit in Australia are there any recorded instances of Sminthopsis crassicaudata, Fat-tailed Dunnart, ever occupying the burrows of Notomys alexis, Spinifex Hopping Mouse.

 

That question exceeds my limited experience. The young teenagers are avidly in pursuit of evidence on both sides of the question, picking through their scant resources.

 

The size differential between the two species would seem to argue against such burrow occupation, but evidence has been brought forward that Sminthopsis crassicaudata is occasionally fossorial where a large enough excavated burrow is available.

 

Such quandaries involve a variety of salient factors, hence are valuable in rewarding flexibility of outlook and meticulous consideration of exceptions.

 

**********************

 

Until seeing your most recently posted image, I'd failed to interest their agile minds in reconsideration of the possibility of a female Tersiphone affinis, Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher, as found in Nepal, northeastern India and southernmost China.

 

The books and rather limited on-line bird identification resources available to the students solely presented Tersiphone paradisi, Indian Paradise Flycatcher.

 

Hence they understandably felt that your original image was unlike female Tersiphone paradisi, especially as regards the slender bill and head plumage

 

The case was advanced by yours truly that taxonomy is refined over time with genetic evidence and a wider base of observations, hence species are recategorized.

 

I failed to persuade them, as they felt that I was too eager to shoehorn a visual example into an existing species where it didn't fit. They balk at considering the unfamiliar female Tersiphone affinis as a reasonable candidate identification.

 

In the face of their cheerful insistence, I retreated. Your image above rekindles my interest in bringing this unresolved identification back for their consideration.

 

The back and forth of naturalists grappling with species identification is familiar to Safaritalk's highly experienced membership.

 

***********************

 

When there are diversions of dubious value enticing contemporary teenagers, it's pleasing to interact with those inclined to rightly regard the natural world as a puzzle.

 

I'll report back if any consensus is reached.

 

Please do accept my gratitude for your worthy challenge and the boon of an additional image.

 

             Tom K.

 

 

 

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Galana

My word. Mercurial is an understatement. I looked up the Fat-tailed Dunnart as the species was new to me. Then I wished I had not. I thought only Arachnids and Amazons devoured the males after they had served their purpose. Shocking behaviour that I am to form an association to have outlawed. Male lives matter!:(

 

To the bird. I admire your tenacity with Tersiphone Sp. Can I point you away from Asia?

Thank you for your kind comments. We are all benefiting from what we learn on these pages and I shall be more cautious around the family burrow from now on..

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Tom Kellie

~ @Galana:

 

There's indeed something to be said for caution when sidling up to a burrow entrance.

 

For the less fossorial amongst us, a dollop of prudence may temper any untoward zest.

 

********************

 

The students were full of well-intentioned mockery this morning (their evening), tossing barbed jibes my way from across the globe.

 

That I'm mired in ignorance is highly amusing to them. They see it as prima facie evidence of the limits of experience and training.

 

 “Are you considering sibias?”...“Does it look like a female Seleucidis melanoleucus to you, Tom?”...“You'd better book a trip to Mauritius to check out Tersiphone bourbonnensis!”.

 

Perhaps the most telling was: “Tom, you just don't know...and neither do we. It's probably some forest bird from central or west Africa, so wait to see how someone else identifies it. No biggie.”

 

That from 14 year old Anna, a boisterous fan of rapid-fire repartee. She'd earlier joshed to others that: “Tom is probably thinking that it's a rare subspecies of Clytoceyx rex, never before seen. 哈哈!”

 

Those final Chinese characters mean “Ha Ha!”.

 

Teenagers are teenagers.

 

Fun-loving...enthusiastic...curious...raucous...frank...and endearingly kind-hearted, albeit expressing their affection through in-your-face broadsides.

 

*******************

 

I've reached the limit of my ornithological resources. Whenever a more experienced hand deftly identifies this species, I'll pass along the information to the students.

 

Despite their current avid interest in delineating the flaws of commercially marketed bee houses, they'll be interested in knowing what the species was, in order to understand what has been overlooked or unknown.

 

Working with younger teenage students is a joy, due to their openness to fresh understanding. It does, however, require a certain flexibility of temperament and the willingness to be the frequent target of sophomoric levity.

 

I look forward to an accurate identification. You've posed a more than worthy challenge, which is especially appreciated.

 

               Tom K.

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mvecht

very tough!

African Hill Babbler?

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Tom Kellie
3 minutes ago, mvecht said:

very tough!

African Hill Babbler?

 

~ @mvecht:

 

Ho Ho! Brilliant.

 

My students and I never even considered that. We knew nothing of the species.

 

Thank you for the enlarging the possibilities.

 

        Tom K.

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Galana
2 hours ago, mvecht said:

very tough!

African Hill Babbler?

Indeed. Actually Rwenzori Hill Babbler Sylvia Atriceps as "African' has been split into Abyssinian and Rwenzori for some years now.

This is an Albertine Rift Endemic with a black head. Seen regularly  around Emmy's Broadbill Camp near Ruhija (Bwindi)

However it would be mean not to allow it so off you go.

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Tom Kellie

~ A well-deserved tip of the chapeau to @mvecht! Excellent identification.

 

Thank you, @Galana, for the worthy challenge and the helpful explanation above.

 

When the teenage students awaken tomorrow morning, a summary of your explanation will be waiting for them.

 

        Tom K.

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