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– Module 2 – How to describe a bird accurately Sahel West Africa PowerPoint Presentation
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– Module 2 – How to describe a bird accurately Sahel West Africa

– Module 2 – How to describe a bird accurately Sahel West Africa

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– Module 2 – How to describe a bird accurately Sahel West Africa

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  1. – Module 2 – How to describe a bird accuratelySahel West Africa Identifying and Counting Waterbirds in Africa – Training Course –

  2. Authors Designed and written by Nathalie Hecker nat.hecker@yahoo.fr Photographs Steve Garvie sgarvie@aol.com, www.pbase.com/rainbirder Illustrations Cyril Girard girardcyril3335@neuf.fr, www.cyrilgirard.fr Translation Rachel Wakeham moosekeeper77@hotmail.com This training course is one of the tools of : Hecker N., 2012. Identifying and Counting Waterbirds in Africa – A toolkit for trainers. ONCFS, Hirundo-FT2E. France

  3. Presenting the Module • Technical explanations Indoor exercises

  4. How to describe a bird accurately • Objectives of the module • At the end of this module you will be able to: • name the different parts of a bird’s body; • describe the shape of a bird; • describe a bird’s plumage; • describe a bird’s behaviour.

  5. How to describe a bird accurately • Approach • Identifying a species = rigorous description • Note all key elements needed for a description • Describe the bird objectively • Write down the description • before the bird flies away • before looking at the field guide

  6. Shape • Size • Compare size to that of a well-known bird • for example: “bigger than a turtle-dove but smaller than a whistling duck”

  7. Shape • Silhouette • often characteristic of a family or genus • Round: plovers • Elongated or slim: stilt, Tringa sandpiper, egret • Hunched or stocky: Squacco Heron at rest • Remember that general shape can change with the bird’s posture.

  8. Shape • Neck • length • short: plovers • medium: ducks • long: Tringa sandpipers, herons, storks • position in flight • extended: storks, Anatidae, flamingos • retracted: herons, pelicans

  9. Shape • Shape of the bill • pointed and dagger-shaped for fish-eating birds: herons, kingfishers • flat: ducks, spoonbills • slender and long: birds that feed over mud: waders - straight: snipes • - downcurved : curlews • - upturned: avocet • short: plovers, gulls, crakes

  10. Shape • Length of the bill • Short or long • Compare with length of the head seen from the side Bill > head Bill = head Bill < head

  11. Shape • Toes … if they are visible • webbed: ducks, geese ... • not webbed: waders ... • very long: jacanas…

  12. Shape • Legs • long: extending beyond the tail when in flight, or clearly visible tibia when on the ground: large wading birds, Tringa sandpipers, Godwits, etc • short : do not extend beyond the tail when in flight, or the tibia is hardly visible when on the ground: Anatidae, cormorants, grebes, Calidris sandpipers, etc. Not extending beyond the tail Legs in flight Extending beyond the tail tibia tarsus clearly visible Tibias hardly visible

  13. Shape • Wings in flight • length • long • short • shape • broad: storks, herons, pelicans… • pointed: terns, Tringa sandpipers ... • rounded : rails...

  14. Shape • Tail • length • long: African Darter • short : teal, Little Grebe • shape • rounded: Common Snipe • forked, v-shaped: pratincoles, terns • pointed: Jack Snipe, Collared Pratincole

  15. Shape

  16. Shape

  17. Shape

  18. Shape

  19. Shape

  20. Shape

  21. Shape

  22. Shape

  23. Shape

  24. Shape

  25. Bird topography crown back eyering face tibia wattle tarsus supercilium cheek scapulars rump breast flank

  26. Bird topography upper mandible lower mandible throat collar undertail coverts coverts wing bar primaries speculum secondaries

  27. Colour and contrast • Describing colours poses a real problem for most beginners

  28. Colour and contrast • Different shades of the same colour: • light grey ... dark grey speckled grey ... stripy grey

  29. Colour and contrast • Shades of mixed colours: • … grey-green … grey-brown … reddish-brown …

  30. Colour and contrast • Vague terms • whitish ... reddish ... greenish

  31. Colour and contrast • Colours will look different in different lights

  32. Colour and contrast • How colour and size are perceived varies with the background against which they are seen Birds can seem smaller than they really are against a light background

  33. Colour and contrast • To make a good description it is important to describe • plumage: patterns, colours and contrasts of each part • colour of the legs • colour of the bill • colour of the bare skin and wattle for some species, etc.

  34. Colour and contrast • Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  35. Colour contrast Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  36. Colour and contrast Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  37. Colour and contrast • Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  38. Colour and contrast Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  39. Colour and contrast • Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  40. Colour and contrast • Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  41. Colour and contrast • Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  42. Colour and contrast • Describe the plumage, legs and bill

  43. Behaviour, disposition, habitat • A description should also include : • Behaviour: sleeping, feeding, flying, perched, etc. • Disposition: alone, in a pair, in a group, etc. • Habitat: on water, in a forest, in bushes, etc.

  44. Behaviour • Behaviour on the ground • walking: cranes, storks, herons, etc. • hopping: raptors on the ground • running: thick-knees, plovers,etc. • standing still: heron watching prey • constantly moving: Sanderling, Kentish Plover Behaviour on water • dives underwater: grebes, diving ducks • dives partially: surface-feeding ducks

  45. Behaviour • Flight behaviour • Type of flight • • flapping: waders, ducks • • soaring: storks • • direct, withoutsharp changes in direction: ducks • • zigzag: Common Snipe • hovering (followed by a dive): terns, Osprey, kingfishers • Type of wingbeats • • rapid or slow • • regular or irregular

  46. Calls and song • Why do we need to recognise bird calls? • To detect species which are rarely seen or isolated or nocturnal • To detect a species a long way away • To tell two similar species apart

  47. Dispersion & habitat • On a wetland … • Dispersion • • solitary: some herons such as Black-headed Heron • • in small or large flocks • Habitat • • open water: ducks and grebes • • shoreline vegetation: herons • • floating vegetation: jacanas • • mudflats: waders

  48. Thanks for your attention!