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-   -   Sturnus sp. (Madrid, Spain) (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=381515)

SLopezM Sunday 22nd September 2019 21:39

Sturnus sp. (Madrid, Spain)
 
2 Attachment(s)
Hello everyone. I saw this bird today in Velilla de San Antonio (Madrid). Can you tell if it is Sturnus vulgaris or S. unicolor even though the quality is low?

RafaelMatias Sunday 22nd September 2019 21:57

Sturnus unicolor for me.

jogresh Sunday 22nd September 2019 23:26

Me too.

njlarsen Monday 23rd September 2019 00:39

As someone who would say not possible to id to species, what makes you so sure?

Niels

RafaelMatias Monday 23rd September 2019 03:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by njlarsen (Post 3899237)
As someone who would say not possible to id to species, what makes you so sure?

Niels

What makes you think it's not identifiable to species?

andyadcock Monday 23rd September 2019 09:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by RafaelMatias (Post 3899252)
What makes you think it's not identifiable to species?

I agree with Niels, not possible, for me anyway, from this pic.

njlarsen Monday 23rd September 2019 13:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by RafaelMatias (Post 3899252)
What makes you think it's not identifiable to species?

Common Starling can look fairly unspotted, and these photos are not nearly good enough to show for sure that there are no spots; and I do not see the elongated throat feathers that are characteristic of Spotless Starling.

Niels

Rotherbirder Monday 23rd September 2019 13:26

Not possible to assess bill shape either so, I'm out too!

RB

RafaelMatias Monday 23rd September 2019 14:27

Both species are in fresh non-breeding/winter plumage right now. The main distinguishing feature at a distance is really not the body spotting, it's the fresh fringing to the wing feathers, with Common Starling having very noticeable and broad pale (brown) and contrasting fringes to those feathers (wings stand out as unequivocally paler than the body at a distance), while Spotless has no such fringes and wings look uniform with the body.
Now the bird in the photo: is it just a black silhouette with no colour visible? Not at all. It is dark, as expected given the species we're talking about, but plenty to see there: black "mask" on the lores to the eyes, reflections on upper cheeks, over the scapulars, upper breast (making a darker wing to almost stand out), and legs appear brownish (not black, as in a silhouette) which reinforces the idea that if paler fringes were present on the wing they'd be obviously visible. I don't see much problem with this.

P.S.: this could be useful: http://blascozumeta.com/wp-content/u...-starlings.pdf

njlarsen Monday 23rd September 2019 16:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by RafaelMatias (Post 3899373)
Both species are in fresh non-breeding/winter plumage right now. The main distinguishing feature at a distance is really not the body spotting, it's the fresh fringing to the wing feathers, with Common Starling having very noticeable and broad pale (brown) and contrasting fringes to those feathers (wings stand out as unequivocally paler than the body at a distance), while Spotless has no such fringes and wings look uniform with the body.
Now the bird in the photo: is it just a black silhouette with no colour visible? Not at all. It is dark, as expected given the species we're talking about, but plenty to see there: black "mask" on the lores to the eyes, reflections on upper cheeks, over the scapulars, upper breast (making a darker wing to almost stand out), and legs appear brownish (not black, as in a silhouette) which reinforces the idea that if paler fringes were present on the wing they'd be obviously visible. I don't see much problem with this.

P.S.: this could be useful: http://blascozumeta.com/wp-content/u...-starlings.pdf

I cannot see those details on either of the two computers I have used.

Niels

SLopezM Monday 23rd September 2019 22:11

Even though it is not clear, I would have said Sturnus unicolor too: S. vulgaris has been seen just in a few ocassions in this place, and never in September.

https://ebird.org/hotspot/L3932776/m...=all&m=#eursta

andyadcock Tuesday 24th September 2019 13:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by SLopezM (Post 3899553)
Even though it is not clear, I would have said Sturnus unicolor too: S. vulgaris has been seen just in a few ocassions in this place, and never in September.

https://ebird.org/hotspot/L3932776/m...=all&m=#eursta

The OP is being assessed visually on what people think they can see so apart from probability, you seem to agree that it can't be ID'd from this photo?

Simon Wates Tuesday 24th September 2019 19:53

I'm inclined to Spotless Starling, not sure at all but I do like them, they knock the spots off Common Starling

lou salomon Tuesday 24th September 2019 21:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Wates (Post 3899888)
they knock the spots off Common Starling

:'D:'D:'D

rollingthunder Sunday 29th September 2019 08:17

I missd that until i saw Louís response:t:

Laurie -

Jane Turner Sunday 29th September 2019 08:54

It would seem that the people who encounter this ID problem on a regular basis are pretty much certain

andyadcock Sunday 29th September 2019 09:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jane Turner (Post 3901747)
It would seem that the people who encounter this ID problem on a regular basis are pretty much certain

It doesn't mean they're right though ;)


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