Because it is the largest hobby in the worlds and most clients will have some type of identification book.
What are the covert feathers responsible for?
Covert feathers responsible for giving general outline and shape of bird.
What are contour feathers for?
Contour feathers give a bit of stiffness where is it needed, ie the wings.
Why are down feathers important?
They are important as they are covered by the coverts and their main purpose is thermo-regulation.
Name the three purposes of feathers?
1.Protection - Against the elements cold & hot
2.Mobility - Not just in flying, but moving, ability to move in general.
3.Display - Using feathers for display, 2 main being attracting a mate & warning off others.
Describe an elliptical wing and give an example of a bird with this type of wing?
An elliptical wing, is very broad , birds that have to get up into the air quickly from the ground have these.ie Barn Owl, Forest birds, Francolins
Give an example of a bird with a high aspect-ratio wing, and describe its uses?
Wandering Albatross & Tristan Albatross.
They have to work very hard to get up into the air, there is not enough air flow over the wing. But it makes them exceptional gliders.
What is a high speed wing and give a bird example?
High speed wing is a cross between a elliptical wing and a high aspect ratio. Birds can get very high speeds through the air. is Raptures
What is a variable geometry wing, and give an example?
Variable geometry wing enables the bird to change the wing formation to adapt to its circumstances.ie Cape Gannet, that dives very quickly into water to catch fish.
What are the purpose of slotted wings , and give example?
Birds that have slotted wings use thermals to fly, the slots on the primaries means that each feather can change individually enabling very accurate flight. ie Cape Vulture
What are the purpose of streamlined tails and give an example?
Birds that need to get away quickly but also need to be able to spread tail to hover, have these ie European Bee Eater
What are graduated tails and give an example?
Graduated tails are used by birds for support when chiselling, The Raucous sticks out the end of the feather so it can attach to a tree for extra support. ie Bennets Woodpecker.
What are display tails and name an example?
Birds use these to help in display to attract a mate, but this will be to the detriment of the bird as it will stand out easy to predators, but this is an example of social survival ie Pin tailed Whydah,Rock Jumper, Peacock.
Explain the basic foot structure of a bird?
Birds have four toes and they are numbered 1-4, these numbers relate to how many bones are in that toe.
What is an Anisodactyl foot and give an example?
An anisodactyl foot, is the most common foot structure, with three toes to front, in a triangle shape and one to the rear. The rear toe is numbered 1, 2 is front left, 3 middle, 4 end right.ie Asly Flycatcher.
Describe Pamprodactyl feet and give an example ?
Pamprodactul feet are all four fours facing forward.ie Swifts, White backed mouse bird.
Describe a Syndactyl foot and give an example?
1 at rear, 2 to the left side 3&4 are fused together. ie Giant Kingfisher, Bee eaters
Ground Dwelling - needs as much stability to stand & move - Ostrich, Emu
Swimming - Has webbing to assist in water. - Egyptian Goose.
Describe a seed eater bill and give an example?
Seed eater has a short, conical hard bill - Blue Waxbill.
Describe a Tweezer bill and give an example?
Very accurate tweezer like, soft bill, as usually catch food in flight - European Bee eater.
Describe a tearing bill and give an example?
Very hard bill, with top bill being slightly curved at the top -
Describe a nectar feeding bill and give an example?
Has a long softer bill curved under, usually has a long tongue - Southern Double Collard Sunbird
Describe a Spearing bill and give and example?
Very thin and long, use bill to spear prey - White Stork, Malachite Kingfisher.
Describe a rapture bill and give an example?
Very hard bill, short with top end curved over - Tawny Eagle.
Describe a mud probing bill and give an example?
Long bill with flattish end - Greater Painted Snipe.
Describe a Sieve feeding bill and give an example?
Quite broad and curved under - stir up mud with feet, then sieve food from the water - Lesser Flamingo
Describe a Chisel bill and give an example?
It is short and herder that a tweezer bill - Bearded Woodpecker.
Describe a netting bill and give an example?
It is a very broad bill and they fly with it open, to catch insects etc. - Rufus Cheeked Nightjar.
What is a birds tails used for?
There are different tails dependig on what the bird needs it for, Main purpose is for steering and mobility in flight, so they are also flight feathers.
Describe the two types of tails and what they are used for and give an example for each?
Forked tails - for birds that fly over long distances, need stability but less drag - Black Saw wing.
Fanned tails - Used for stopping in mid air, found in hovering species - Carmine Bee- Eater.
What type of foot would a Thick Knee have and why?
Thick Knees walk on marshy ground so they have slightly flattened toes to assist in walking on this type of ground,
What feet adaptions have raptures got and give an exmple?
A Rapture has an Anisodactyl foot, it uses force to grab his prey. the 3 front toes are used for holding and the front for killing so longer and sharper - Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk.
What type of feet does an African Jacana have and why?
They have very long elongated toes to enable them to walk on water plants without sinking.
What type of feet do Cape Gannet have and why?
They have a flap that goes round all toes, as they use their feet for incubation, their brood patch is on their feet, 2-3o warmer than the body. They sit with the egg under their feet. They can also close down blood flow to their feet.
What is the main thing when it comes to bird identification?
G - General
I - Impression
S - Shape
S - Size
If you don't have GISS what do you look for?
2.Bill ( Shape/Colour)
5. Habitat} Where possible
6.Habits } "
What do you look for in Size?
Small - 15cm - Bee eaters
Medium - 25cm - Laughing Dove
Large - 55cm - Guinea Fowl
V Large - 100cm - Secretary Bird
What do you look for when looking at the legs of a bird?
1. Length - in relation to body size.
2. Shape - How far do feathers come down legs.
3. Colour - note colour of all parts of legs, this can be one of the easiest way to distinguish species
4. Toe Arrangement - Try and see toe arrangement.
What do you look for when looking at the plumage of a bird?
5. Area around eye
What different types of colouration do you get?
Reflection - o/s layer of feather looks polishes and reflects light - Yellow Billed Duck.
Refraction - Absorbing other parts of the spectrum - Common Starling
Melanism - Much darker than normal has more melanin - Whalbergs Eagle
Melanin - Concentration depends on whether feathers lighter/darker.
Leucism - Colours very washed out - little melanin - African Penguin
Name the types of markings on bird and describe?
Streaked - Markings running down - Cardinal Woodpecker
Barred - Markings running across - Bearded Woodpecker
Blotched - Knysna Woodpecker
Arrow marks - Arrow marked Babbler
Scalloped - like a shell - Hartlaub Babbler
What other things can you use to try to identify birds?
Crests - Is there a crest present.
Around the eye - Some have different colours
Habitats - What habitat are you in.
Name some Important Bird Areas in South Africa ( IBA's )?
Kruger National Park
Tembe Elephant Park
Name the three main habits of birds?
1. Flight Pattern
2. Feeding Behaviour
Name the types of flight patterns and give examples?
Dynamic soaring - uses air flow to glide. - Various Albatross species.
Thermal soaring - Do not see this in the cold, but in warmer parts, as they use the warm air. usually birds with slotted wings - White Stork Vulture
Flapping & Gliding - Flaps to go up, glides coming down - Eagles
Bounding - constantly flapping up & down - Doves
Constantly Flapping - But do it in a straight line - Ducks
Name the types of feeding behaviour?
Swimming & Diving - African Finfoot
Pecking on Ground - Cape Francolin
Hawking Insects - European Bee - eater.
What's the difference between a call and a sound?
A call is an alert ie to locate a mate or signal danger.
A Song is to attract mates or advertise territory.
A song is identifiable as it is more elaborate, a call isn't
What differences do birds have when they are in breeding?
Birds may have different plumage, in that it may be more brightly coloured. They only need it for breeding to attract mates, so will not exert the effort at other times.
What are the Zoo-geographical regions relating to birds?
Neartic - North America, Canada, Alaska, Greenland.
Neotropic - South America to Mexico
Afrotropical - Sub Saharan Africa, Madagascar,
Paleartic - Europe, Asia, North Africa, Middle East, Japan.
Oriental - India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, North of the Wallace Line.
Australiasia - Australia, New Zealand, South of Wallace Line.
Name the Oceanic Faunal Zone?
Pelagic Zone - 10m + offshore, nest on South Arctic Islands ie Atlantic Yellow Nosed Albatross.
Describe the Shore Faunal Zone and name bird examples?
Shore - birds found mostly on beaches, rocky shores ie. Greater Sand Plover, only go about 1m from shore.
Describe the Littoral Bush and give example of birds ?
Littoral Bush - is closest to shore, ie Forest @ Natures Valley, may go onto shore but stick mainly to the dense bush - Olive Thrush, Cape Robin Chat.
Where is the Montane Forest Zone and name a bird from that area?
This is the next section after the Littoral Zone - Crowned Hornbill, Forest Canary,
What birds will you find in the Bushveld/Thornveld areas?
Red Billed Quelia in large flocks, Violet eared Waxbill often in swarms
What birds will you find in the Grassland Zone?
Rufus-naped Lark,Crowned Lapwing.
Name birds from the Desert Zone and give a difference they have to other birds?
Burchells Sand Grouse, Kori Bustard.
They have highly absorbent feathers on their chest as they are usually quite far from water , so they will absorb water into the feathers then fly back to the nest,
Name birds from the Mountain Zone?
Cape Bunting, Jackal Buzzard, Karoo Korhaan .
What are the three Wetland area's and give an example of birds from that zone?
Deep Water - Fish Eagle, Little Grebe.
Shallow Water - Still inside the water - Pied Avocet ( only bird with up curved beak)
Shoreline - Do not hunt in the water, but are in the reeds & thick clumps - Black Crake
What is the Grassland Habitat, and name birds from that area?
Grassland habitat may be in another Zone - African Pipit, Cape Rock Thrush.
What birds will you find in a Urban area and why?
Cape Sparrow, Cape Wagtail. - They are used to living with humans.
What birds habitat is the Sky?
Black Sparrow Hawk, Black Kite, Martial Eagle.
What are the advantages of a breeding Colony?
1. Safety in numbers
2. Safety from predators
3. Limited amount of nesting sites
4. Proximity to food supply
5. Mating system
What are Roosting sites?
Basically areas where they are safe, they do not breed here, just a place of safety overnight.
Name something different about the Hamerkop?
The male stands on the females back as part of mating.
Name the courtship rituals re Ostriches?
When a male comes into breeding his skin becomes more pink, and neck more blue and beak more pink. He starts a deep calling sound and go into elaborate display and rituals. This shows the female which male is best, as they help in raising the young.
Name the mating strategies?
Monogamy - one male one female, but perhaps different partner next time breeding.
Polygamy - One male, lots of females - Cape Weaver
Polyandry - One female , many males, male responsible for chicks - African Jacana