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What's that Bird? A starter's guide to birds of southern Africa

What's that Bird? A starter's guide to birds of southern Africa

Offers an easy entry into the often bewildering world of bird identification in southern Africa
22100
978-1-86872-879-4
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What's that Bird? A starter's guide to birds of southern Africa

Author: Kenneth Newman
Struik Publishers
Cape Town, 2003
ISBN-10: 186872879X
ISBN-13: 978-1-86872-879-4
Soft cover, 17x25 cm, 140 pages, throughout colour illustrations


Description:

What’s that bird? offers the budding birder an easy entry into the often bewildering world of bird identification.

Simple and direct in its approach, it groups birds according to family likeness or common habitat or, occasionally, species that are likely to be confused with one another.

Well-known for his popular field guide to southern African birds, Ken Newman has made a selection here of birds that many people see near home or in day-to-day traveling.

However, some birds have been included that live in specific habitats and must be looked for there.

For convenience and to suggest the way forward for a ‘starter’, the various groups have been arranged in broad divisions beginning with ‘Gardens and parks’ and ending with ‘Birds that are more difficult to identify’.

On its own or used with a field guide, What’s that Bird is an excellent introduction to the birds of the region and a solid base from which to launch an interest in birding.


About the Author:

Ken Newman is a renowned bird painter and ornithologist who has contributed largely to the increased interest in and awareness of birds in recent years. His numerous books have sold close to a million copies worldwide.

He is a past president of the South African Ornithological Society and a recipient of the SAOS Gill Memorial Award and the Zoological Society's Stevenson-Hamilton Award. He is currently President of BirdLife SA.


Media Reviews:

The Herald (Margaret Mcainsh)
"I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to recognise more than pigeons, mossies and seagulls."

Farmers Weekly (Patricia McCracken)
"The next best thing to one-to-one tuition from the president of Birdlife SA and author of the country's most widely used field guide."

Pretoria News Interval (Alan Dunn)
"This guide will enable a flying start."


A word from the author:

Anyone wishing to get to know southern Africa's birds may be excused for feeling a little daunted. Our bird books confront the reader with a dazzling but, at first, confusing array of avian creatures - brown ones, green ones, grey ones, yellow ones, many looking very much the same. Making sense of them, and ultimately coming to recognize them all, may at first seem an impossible task. But it need not be, and the key to unlocking the bewildering world of birds lies in this book.

Individual birds (i.e. species) all belong to larger groups and are part of them because they share common features, be they physical similarities or habitats or territories. By coming to terms with the various groups of birds in this book - a manageable 60 or so - you can easily enter the greater world of birds and begin the task of identifying specific birds by first identifying the group to which they most probably belong.

The groups and species described here have been chosen to provide you, the Starter, with easily found and identifiable birds that you can locate without much trouble. Many are birds that you will see (or will already have seen) near your home or in day-to-day travelling. Some, however, live in particular habitats and must be looked for there. For the most part, the groups presented here follow family groupings, but sometimes it has been more useful to group birds that are easily confused with one another, or that share a habitat such as water.

Once you are familiar with the more common groups and species in the broad habitat divisions in which they have been arranged here, you will be able to progress with confidence to the more difficult groups (the numerous little brown birds, seabirds, shorebirds and birds of prey), which are handled in a separate section at the end of the book.

When you reach this point, there will be no holding you back. I strongly recommend using this book in conjunction with a field-guide such as Newman's Birds of Southern Africa or Newman's Birds by Colour. This will help you become familiar with more birds in their various groups and will introduce you at the same time to the fieldguide concept and how it works.

Most of us want to become proficient quickly in any new sphere we enter, but when it comes to identifying birds, speed can soon bring on a bout of ornithological indigestion. Birding, at all times, should be pleasurable, relaxing. If it becomes a chore, give it a rest. Eventually, it will take you to new and pleasant places that you didn't know existed. You will make new friends and gain a new purpose in life. It can be an absorbing interest. But don't rush it.


Contents:

Introduction

Urban areas
Common doves
Pigeons
Common bulbuls
White-eyes
Sparrows
Mousebirds
Thrushes
Chats & robins
Barbets
Starlings
Common weavers
Sunbirds
True shrikes
Wagtails
African Hoopoe & woodhoopoes
Prinia & prinia-like warblers
Swallows & martins
Crows

Inland waters
Cormorants & African Darter
Herons, egrets & bitterns
Ducks & geese
Stilt, Avocet & jacanas
Flamingoes & Hamerkop
Ibises & African Spoonbill
Kingfishers
Plovers
Rails, crakes & grebes
Storks
Widows & bishops
Cranes

Woodlands & bush
Common bee-eaters
Common hornbills
Drongoes & similar black birds
Flycatchers & batises
Rollers
Bush shrikes & boubou shrikes
Tchagras & helmet shrikes
Turacos & go-away birds
Babblers
Woodpeckers & Wryneck
Canaries & siskins
Owls
Parrots & lovebirds
Orioles
Common buntings
Cuckoos & coucals
Swifts
Waxbills, finches & mannikins
Whydahs, widow finches & Cuckoo Finch
Rock-jumpers
Rockrunner
Common tits
Sugarbirds
Oxpeckers
Secretarybird

Grasslands & drylands
Francolins & guineafowls
Bustards & korhaans
More chats & wheatears
Longclaws
Dikkops

Seashores & estuaries
Gulls & terns
Pelicans, Gannet & Oystercatcher

Difficult to identify
Difficult to find
References
Index


Please also check the index:

A
accipiters 12
albatrosses 131
Albatross, Black-browed 131
apalises 126
Avocet (Pied) 11, 58, 58
B
babblers 91
Babbler, Arrow-marked 91, 91
Pied, Southern 91, 91
Southern White-rumped
(Hartlaub's)91, 91
barbets9, 12, 13, 17,32-33,
127
Barbet, Pied, Acacia 33
Black-collared 33, 33
Crested ;0, 32 32
White-eared 32, 33
batises 17,82-83
Batis.Cape 12,82,83, 83
Chin-spot 82, 83, 83
Pririt 83
bee-eaters 11, 76-77
Bee-eater, Carmine 76. 77, 77
European (Golden-backed
Bee-eater) 76, 76, 77
Little 76, 77, 77
White-fronted 14, 76, 76. 77
bishops 11,72-73,103
Bishop, Fire-crowned 72
Golden 36, 73, 73
Red 73, 73
bitterns 54-55
Bittern, Dwarf 54, 54
Bokmakierie 86, 86, 120
Boubou, Crimson-breasted
(Crimson-breasted Shrike) 13,
87,87
Southern 87, 87
Tropical 87
Broadbill, African 132, 132
bulbuls9, 12,22
Bulbul, Red-eyed 13, 22, 22
Black-eyed 22, 22
Cape 22, 22
buntings 101
Bunting, Cape 101
Cinnamon-breasted (Rock)
101, ;0;
Golden-breasted 101, 101
bustards 12, 16-117
Bustard, Kori 116, 116
button quails 130
Button Quail, Hottentot 130
buzzards 12, 128-129
Buzzard, Honey 128, 129
Jackal )28, 129
c
canaries 12, 13,94-95
Canary, Black-throated 95, 95
Cape 94-95, 94
Streaky-headed 95, 95
Yellow 94, 95
Yellow-fronted (Yellow-eyed)
94,94
chats 13,28,30-31, 118-119
Chat, Ant-eating 119, ;?9
Buff-streaked 118, 119
Mocking 118-119, 118
cisticolas 109, 126
Cisticola, Rattling 126
coots 11
Coot, Red-knobbed 68, 68
cormorants 11, 52-53
Cormorant, Cape 52, 52
Reed 52, 53, 53
White-breasted 52, 52
coucals 102
Coucal, Burchell's 103, 103
coursers 12, 13,67, 127
Courser, Burchell's ;27
crakes 68-69
Crake, Black 69, 69
cranes 13, 74-75
Crane, Blue 75, 75
Crowned, Grey 74, 75
Wattled 74-75, 74, 75
Creeper, Spotted 132, 132
crombeks 12, 126
crows 50-51
Crow, Black (Cape) 13, 51 5?
House 51
Pied 50 50
cuckoos 12, 102-103
Cuckoo, Diederik 102, 102, 103
Red-chested (Piet-my-vrou) 31,
102-103, 102, 103
Cuckoohawk, African 129
Cuckooshrike, Black 81. 8;
Grey 12
White 12
D
Darter, African 53, 53
dikkops 121
Dikkop. Spotted 121, 121
Water 121, 121
doves 9, 10, 12, 18-19,20
Dove, Turtle, Cape 18, 19, 19
Emerald-spotted 18, 19
Laughing 18 18
Red-eyed 18,19, 19
drongoes 80-81
Drongo, Fork-tailed 80, 80, 81
Square-tailed 12, 80, 80, 81
ducks 9, 9, 11, 11, 17,56-57,
69
Duck, Fulvous 57, 57
Knob-billed (Comb) 16, 57
White-faced 57, 57
Yellow-billed 56
E
eagles 12, 128
Eagle, Bateleur 128
Black 13, 128
Crowned 12, 128
Fish African 13, 17, 128
Martial 13, 128 ?28
Snake, Southern Banded 13
Tawny 128
egrets 54-55
Egret, Black 55
Cattle 11, 54, 55, 55
Little 11
White, Great 55
eremomelas 126
F
falcons 129
Falcon, Lanner 51
finches 106-07
Finch, Cuckoo (Parasitic Weaver)
108, f08, 109
Melba 13, 106, 106, 108
Finfoot, African 132 132
Firefinch, Red-billed 107, ;07
Blue-billed 107, ;07
Jameson's 107, )07
flamingoes 10, 13, 16,60-61
Flamingo, Greater 60, 60, 61
Lesser 60, 60, 6)
flycatchers 12, 17,82-83
Flycatcher, Black 80-81, 8?
Fiscal 41, 82, 83, 83
Marico 13, 82,83, 83
Paradise, African 82, 82, 83
Spotted 82, 82, 83
francolins 12, 13, 114-115
Francolin, Cape 115, 115
Crested 114-115, 114
Swainson's 114, ; 14
G
Gallinule, Purple 69, 69
gannets 124-125
Gannet.Cape 124-125, ;25
geese 9, 9, 11, 56-57
Goose, Egyptian 8, 9, 57, 60
Pygmy 56, 57
Spur-winged 56, 57
go-away birds 9, 12, 90
Go-away Bird, Grey 90, 90
goshawks 129
Goshawk, Chanting, Pale 13, 129
grebes 69
Grebe, Crested, Great 69, 69
Little (Dabchick) 11, 69, 69
guineafowls 12, 114-115
Guineafowl, Crested 115, 115
Helmeted 15, 115. ;?5
gulls 11, 13, 122-123
Gull, Cape 122, 122
Grey-headed 11, 122, 122, 123
Hartlaub's 122, 123
Gymnogene (African Harrier
Hawk)129
H
Hamerkop 60-61, 61
harriers 129
Harrier, Black 129
hawks 129
Hawk, Bat 129 129
Helmet Shrike, Chestnut-fronted
89,89
Red-billed 89, 89
White 89, 89
herons 13,54-55,71
Heron, Black-headed 55, 55
Grey 11, 54, 54
Night, Black-crowned 54, 54
Hobby, African 129
honeybirds 127
honeyguides 12, 127
Honeyguide, Greater 127
Lesser 127, 127
Scaly-throated 13, 127
Hoopoe, African 44, 44,45, 45
hornbills 12, 13,78-79
Hornbill, Grey, African 78-79, 78
Ground, Southern 78, 79, 79
Red-billed 78, 79
Silvery-cheeked 133, 133
Yellow-billed, Southern 78, 79,
79
ibises 62-63
Ibis, Bald 62, 62, 63
Glossy 63, 63
Hadeda 8, 62, 62
Sacred 62, 62, 63
jacanas 59
Jacana, African 59, 59
Lesser 59, 59
K
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded 65, 65
Giant 64, 64
Malachite 64, 65
Pied 64, 65
Woodland 65, 65
kites 129
Kite, Black 129
Black-shouldered 129
Yellow-billed 129, 129
korhaans 12, 13, 116-117
Korhaan, Black, Northern 13, 117,
117
Black, Southern 117, 117
Black-bellied ; 16, 117
Red-crested 117, 117
L
larks 12,13,126,127
Lark, Melodious 126
longclaws 120
Longclaw, Orange-throated
120,120
Pink-throated 120, 720
Yellow-throated 120, 120
louries see turacos
lovebirds 98-99
Lovebird, Rosy-faced 99, 99
M
mannikins 106-107
Mannikin, Bronze 106, 107, 107
Pied 132, 132
martins 48-49
Martin, Banded 49 49
moorhens 11
Moorhen, Common 68, 68, 69
mousebirds 26-27
Mousebird, Red-faced 26 26, 27
Speckled 26 26, 27
White-backed 26, 27, 27
Myna, Indian (Common) 8, 34 34
N
Nicator, Yellow-spotted 133,
133
nightjars 12, 17, 126
Nightjar, Fiery-necked 126
kestrels 13, 129
kingfishers 12,64-65
ocean birds, southern 131
orioles 100
Oriole, Black-headed 37, 100, 100
Golden, Eurasian 100, 100
Golden, African 100, 100
Osprey 129
owls 93, 96-97
Owl, Barn 60, 97, 97
Eagle, Spotted 97, 97
Marsh 96, 96
Pearl-spotted 96, 96, 97
oxpeckers 113
Oxpecker, Red-billed 113. 113
Yellow-billed 113, 113
Oystercatcher, Black, African 13,
125, ?25
p
parrots 98-99
Parrot, Brown-headed 98, 99
Cape 12,99, 99
Grey-headed 99, 99
Meyer's 98, 99
Ruppell's 98, 99
pelicans 13, 124-125
Pelican, Great White (Eastern
White) 10, 124, 124, 125
Pink-backed 124, ;24
petrels 131
pigeons 18, 19,20-21
Pigeon Feral (City) 15, 20, 20,
Green, African 21, 2 ?
Delegorgue's (Bronze-naped)
21,2?
Rameron 20, 21
Rock (Speckled) 20, 20, 21
pipits 13, 127
Pipit, Grassveld ?27
Pitta, African 131 131
plovers 12,66-67
Plover, Blacksmith 11, 67, 67
Crab 132, 132
Crowned 16,66,66,67
Three-banded 11, 66, 67
Wattled 67, 67
Pochard, Southern 57, 57
pratincoles 127
Pratincole, Red-winged ;27
prinlas 46-47, 109, 126
Prinia, Black-chested 46, 46,
f08
Karoo 47
Tawny-flanked 46-47, 46
prions131
Puffback 40, 41 41
Q
quails 130
Quail, Blue 130 130
R
rails 68-69
Rail, African 68, 69
Raven, White-necked 51, 5f
robin-chats 12,28,30-31
Robin-chat, Cape 30, 30, 31,102
Natal 30, 31
robins 11 11, 12,30-31
Robin, Heuglin's31, 31
Swynnerton's 133, 133
rock-jumpers 110
Rock-jumper, Cape 110, 110
Orange-breasted
(Drakensberg) 110, ; 10
Rockrunner 110, ; ;0
rollers 84-85
Roller, Lilac-breasted 84, 84
Purple 85, 85
Broad-billed 85, 85
European 84, 84
Racket-tailed 84-85, 85
s
Sanderling 130
sandgrouse 127
Sandgrouse, Double-banded 127,
]27
Sandplover, White-fronted 130
Scimitarbill, Common 45, 45
Secretarybird 113, 113
shorebirds 130
Shoveller, Cape 57
shrikes 11, 12, 17
true shrikes 40-41
bush shrikes 12,86-87
boubou shrikes 86-87
helmet shrikes 12,89
tchagra shrikes 88
Shrike, Bush, Grey-headed
86-87, 86
Bush, Orange-breasted 86,
87
Fiscal 16,40,40
Long-tailed 40, 41 41
Red-backed 13,40,40,
41
siskins 94
Siskin, Cape 95, 95
Drakensberg 95
snipes 130
Snipe, African 130, 130
Painted 131-132, 131
sparrows 9, 24-25
Sparrow, Yellow-throated 24,
25,95
Cape 24 24, 25
Grey-headed, Southern 25,
25,93
House 9, 15,24,25,25
sparrowhawks 129
Sparrowhawk, Ovambo 129
Spoonbill, African 63, 63
starlings 8. 11 11, 13,29,34-35,
93
Starling, European 8, 29, 34, 34
Glossy, Cape 8, 34, 34, 35
Plum-coloured (Violet-backed)
3535
Red-winged 35, 35
Stilt, Black-Winged 11, 58, 58
Stint, Little 130
Stonechat31,3?
storks 12, 13,55,61,62,
70-71,74
Stork, Abdim's 71, 71
Marabou 70-71, 71
Saddle-billed 70, 70
White 71, 71
Yellow-billed 70, 70
sugarbirds 112
Sugarbird, Cape 13, 112,
112
Gurney's 13, 112, 112
sunbirds 10,11, 12,38-39
Sunbird, Black 38, 39
Double-collared, Greater 38,
39
Double-collared, Lesser 39,
39
Malachite 38, 39
White-bellied 39, 39
swallows 48-49, 104, 105
Swallow, European 48,49
Striped, Greater 48,49
Striped, Lesser 48,49
White-throated 49, 49
swans 56
swifts 104-105
Swift, Alpine ;04, 105, ;05
Little 104, 105, ;05
Palm, African 105, f05
White-rumped ?04, 105,
f05
v
T
Tchagra, Black-crowned 13,
88-89, 88
Brown-crowned (Three-
streaked) 88, 89
Southern 88. 88
Teal, Red-billed 56
terns 13,122-123
Tern, Caspian 123, 123
Swift 123, 123
thrushes 8,9,11, 28-29, 30
ground 12,28,29
rock 28, 29
Thrush, Groundscraper 29,
29
Kurrichane 28, 29
Olive 28, 28
Rock, Cape 29, 29
tinkerbirds (tinker barbets) 32
tits 12,93, 111
Tit, Black, Southern 111, 111
Ashy 111, 111
Grey, Southern 111, ;; 1
Miombo (Northern Grey)
111, 111
titbabblers 12, 126
Trogon.Narina 3,12, 131,
?3;
turacos (louries) 13, 90
Turaco, Knysna 12, 90, 90
Livingstone's 90, 90
Purple-crested 90, 90
Schalow's 90, 90
vultures 12,128
Vulture, Hooded 128
Lappet-faced 128
White-backed 128, ?28
w
waders see shorebirds
wagtails 11, 42-43
Wagtail, African Pied 43, 43
Cape 42, 42, 43
Long-tailed 42,43
Yellow 43, 43
warblers 12, 13, 126
Palearctic 126
reed 126
Warbler, Bleating, Green-
backed 13
Namaqua 47, 47
Rufous-eared 47, 47
Willow 126, 126
waxbills 12, 106-107
Blue 13, 106, 106, 107
Common 106, ; 06,109
Violet-eared 1, 108
weavers 11, 12,24,36-37
Weaver, Cape 36, 36, 37
Masked, Lesser 37, 37
Masked 17,36,37. 100
Spectacled 37, 37
Spotted-backed 36-37, 36
Thick-billed 37
wheatears 28, 30, 118-119
Wheatear. Capped 13, 118,
;)8
Mountain (Mountain Chat)
119, )?9
white-eyes 23
White-eye, Yellow, African 23,
23
Cape 23, 23
Orange River 23, 23
whydahs 108-109
Paradise 108, ?08
Pin-tailed 108-109, ?09
Shaft-tailed 108, f09
widow finches 108-109
Widow Finch, Black 109, f09
widows 72-73
Widow, Long-tailed 72, 72
Red-collared 73, 73
White-winged 72, 73
wildfowl see ducks
woodhoopoes 44-45
Woodhoopoe, Red-billed
(Green) 44, 45, 91
woodpeckers 11, 12,92-93, 127
Woodpecker, Bearded 92, 92
Bennett's 93, 93
Cardinal 17,93, 93
Golden-tailed 92, 93
Wryneck, Red-throated 93, 93