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-   -   Little or Saunder's tern - Eastern Saudi (http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=58804)

AJDH Friday 19th May 2006 17:50

Little or Saunder's tern - Eastern Saudi
 
2 Attachment(s)
I've done it again...............is it a Little or Saunder's tern?


http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/3206/page/

Extra views attached.

Th_SQ Friday 19th May 2006 18:32

Can you tell us when the pictures were taken ?
Pictures show only two black primaries (and extensive white on forehead) which would lead to Little. But I think there is one missing primary (penultimate I think) so it may be important to know if the bird can be in moult.

AJDH Friday 19th May 2006 18:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Th_SQ
Can you tell us when the pictures were taken ?
Pictures show only two black primaries (and extensive white on forehead) which would lead to Little. But I think there is one missing primary (penultimate I think) so it may be important to know if the bird can be in moult.

Sorry about that, they were taken today. :t:

JANJ Friday 19th May 2006 19:25

Adrian,

Some more images there, and judging by the first one here we are back at Little I think. Compared to the one in the gallery one can now get a better view of the white forehead patch and how it obviously reaches over, and behind the eye, a clear Little character, as pointed out here:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....highlight=tern

Nice ones Adrian!

JanJ

hannu Friday 19th May 2006 19:48

I agree with JanJ, Little Tern
2 blacker outer primaries fits more to Little Tern too (has sometimes also 3)
legs reddish orange, Saunder's legs are generally darker etc...

Th_SQ Friday 19th May 2006 19:50

JanJ :

"Terns" by KMO & H.Larsson : "Only those with a combinaison of all characters can be identified"

From the date, the bird may well be in moult (I'll pretty sure there is one primary missing, explaining wierd pattern).

Best left unidentified for me.


Just my opinion :scribe:

hannu Friday 19th May 2006 19:54

As you see,Little can be 3 blacker outer primaries
http://www.tarsiger.com/images/hande/Stealb4.jpg

Th_SQ Friday 19th May 2006 20:16

I prefer to follow the wise advice of K.M.O., the author of "Tern", and keep this bird unidentified. Just my choice :bounce:



(And well, I would not call "black" the primaries of the Little Tern with 3 dark primaries. On Adrian's bird here it's really black and extensive).

JANJ Friday 19th May 2006 22:58

Agree on the wise advice, and that it seem to have one primary missing, probably the prenultimate, which would be a pro-Saunder´s character, but the head pattern looks very good for Little.

JanJ

CJW Saturday 20th May 2006 01:01

The legs look a bit dull to me and, if it is a Little Tern, what happened to the black tip to it's bill?? It's bill is almost reminiscent of a Fairy Tern (Sterna nereis). Not that I'm suggesting that as a possibility!

hannu Saturday 20th May 2006 07:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by CJW
The legs look a bit dull to me and, if it is a Little Tern, what happened to the black tip to it's bill??

Also Saunder's should be black tip to it's bill. Concerning the colour of legs,
see follow link:
http://www.birdingisrael.com/birdNew...undersTern.htm

But this overall impression fits perhaps better to Little..., who knows---- ;-)

Porter et all in Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East does not mention Fairy Tern (Sterna nereis)...

Jane Turner Saturday 20th May 2006 09:30

Agree its not safely identifiable, but that bird is in moult and it will have three black outer primaries. It comes down to which feather you choose to believe - the primary or the one stray white one which extends the forehead patch over the eye!

JANJ Saturday 20th May 2006 10:00

Lack of black tip on the bill is not a major problem. Moult is complex, as noted in 'Terns' and Adrians bird might not be fully adult (maybe a 2nd summer ?) due to darker lesser covert bar and a brownish primary covert, but the outer primaries doe´s look blacker than the inner one. According to 'Terns' Saunder´s moult later than Little (variable), and normally retains thre outer primaries which are deeper black comp. to Little. Number of black outer primaries is a variable character, and as Th_SQ mentioned a combination of characters would of course be wise. That head pattern on a 'clean' Saunder´s I would like to see! Intergrades complicates the situation further.

Check headpattern, males and females on Little here (from Northern Europe)

http://home.swipnet.se/~w-48087/fagl...albifrons.html

JanJ

CJW Saturday 20th May 2006 11:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by JANJ
Lack of black tip on the bill is not a major problem

It might not be a problem, all I was saying was it's unusual. I've never seen a Little Tern without the black bill tip.

AJDH Saturday 20th May 2006 17:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by JANJ
Lack of black tip on the bill is not a major problem. Moult is complex, as noted in 'Terns' and Adrians bird might not be fully adult (maybe a 2nd summer ?) due to darker lesser covert bar and a brownish primary covert, but the outer primaries doe´s look blacker than the inner one. According to 'Terns' Saunder´s moult later than Little (variable), and normally retains thre outer primaries which are deeper black comp. to Little. Number of black outer primaries is a variable character, and as Th_SQ mentioned a combination of characters would of course be wise. That head pattern on a 'clean' Saunder´s I would like to see! Intergrades complicates the situation further.

Check headpattern, males and females on Little here (from Northern Europe)

http://home.swipnet.se/~w-48087/fagl...albifrons.html

JanJ

Jan,

My only guide on the region "Helm" mentions that in the Gulf area, intermediates occur. would it be safe to call this an intermediate?

JANJ Saturday 20th May 2006 17:46

For the time bieng Adrian, although the head pattern say´s Little, and Little can show 3 blackish/black outer primaries, but more work is required to check on the moult of Little and Saunder´s.

Always nice to work with your birds Adrian.

JanJ

AJDH Saturday 20th May 2006 18:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by JANJ
For the time bieng Adrian, although the head pattern say´s Little, and Little can show 3 blackish/black outer primaries, but more work is required to check on the moult of Little and Saunder´s.

Always nice to work with your birds Adrian.

JanJ

My pleasure Jan. :t:


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