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Old Thursday 20th November 2008, 10:46   #1
GrumpyEagle
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ID questions from Nigeria

I spent the weekend birding at Jos Plateau in Nigeria. Jos is near the centre of Nigeria, slightly to the north-west and is quite high, although I don't know the altitude. There are a couple of birds that I really cannot identify and wonder whether anyone might be able to assist.

In a small wooded area in the outskirts of the city of Jos, I saw a small white bird with a sky blue band across its chest. The head and entire front of the bird were white, apart from the pale blue band. The bird was approx 11-12cm. There is nothing like this in my Birds of Western Africa field guide. I then saw a pair of similar birds, which were pale brown or rufous in colour, but also had the same sky blue band across the chest. I did not get a good view of the backs of the birds.

In an open area with a few scattered trees, I briefly saw a group of birds that were similar in size, shape and flight to magpies. The wings appeared to have black and white striped, the tail was long and may have been black and the bill was red. They were gregarious, but disappeared into a small tree and had gone when I reached said tree.

Grateful for any help, guesses welcome.

Cheers

James
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Old Thursday 20th November 2008, 11:53   #2
James Lowther
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no idea for the first species but the second sounds like green woodhoopoes

http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/zoostaff/BB...opreening2.jpg
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Old Monday 24th November 2008, 09:09   #3
GrumpyEagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lowther View Post
no idea for the first species but the second sounds like green woodhoopoes

http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/zoostaff/BB...opreening2.jpg
Thanks for the reply, I think Green woodhoopoe is probably right. Does anyone else agree/disagree?

Any ideas on the other species? Is there any small bird with a sky blue band across the chest?

I have one more ID question from this weekend, a pair of birds seen in small trees at the confluence of the Benue and Niger rivers in Lokoja, central Nigeria. They were similar in size and shape to Piapiacs, but entirely violet in colour other than the black tails. The bill was dark, the eyes were pale yellow/white and the tail was long, diamond shaped, tapering to a point. There is nothing like this in my Western Africa Field Guide, could this be a species usually seen elsewhere? Or a local form of a species?
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