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Jeff in Hokkaido - this bird ID be making me crazy! help

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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 17:39   #1
Otarujef
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Jeff in Hokkaido - this bird ID be making me crazy! help

Hi Everyone!

I am hoping a veteran or someone who has seen this bird before maybe be able to help me. Much appreciated!

I live in Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan.
I went out near the Shukutsu Observation Platform,

which the location linked here:
https://goo.gl/maps/PSpKuo4aASKB35Ts5

The bird appears:
1. to have a short tail.
2. a black back
3. a unique white pattern in the middle of its back.
4. its cheeks appear black
5. the head is chestnut
6. the face possibly white.
7. a black beak

It almost as the shape of a Pygmy Woodpecker, and I thought Thrush family, Starling or such. I have looked thru all of my Japan and East Asian Guides books, but nothing matches even close.

My auto-focus was working poorly at the moment i took a photo of the bird,
but I have attached it.

Thanks again,
Jeff :)
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 17:59   #2
stuartelsom
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Could be Chestnut-cheeked Starling?

Stu
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 18:01   #3
Grahame Walbridge
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Male Chestnut-cheeked Starling.

Grahame

Oops cross-post with Stuart!
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 18:47   #4
Otarujef
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comparing

Thanks Stu and Grahame!

That was my first impression, but all the chestnut-cheeked starlings I have seen here and photographed don't seem to have that unique designed white patch in the middle of the back/rump.

Maybe I am missing something, the white path is different from the starlings I have seen, and the head is white with just the cheeks chestnut. i have attached some of my photos for reference.

Variations for so many things in a birds life are possible. Let me know what you think, let me if it still seems most likely a chestnut-cheeked starling.

I just want to make sure I'm not off track missing a key marking that would show it to be something else.

well appreciated,

Jeff :)
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 20:32   #5
Grahame Walbridge
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The rump patch is variable and it can be pure white and extensive see https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Chest...eeked_Starling and the amount of chestnut is just as variable. The quality of your images precludes close inspection but IMO there is no other viable option.

Here are more images illustrating the amount of variation shown http://orientalbirdimages.org/search...eeked+Starling

Grahame

Last edited by Grahame Walbridge : Sunday 23rd June 2019 at 20:35.
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 04:15   #6
Otarujef
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Thanks greatly Grahame!
:thumbs up:

Stuart Price's image from orientalbirds looks like all the ones in Hokkaido.
He is down the road a bit from me.

ya would almost want to make a subspecies for Hokkaido in that they all appear so similar here...except for the DNA monotypic thang. haha

yeah, working towards lenses upgrade penny by penny

Thanks again for your time and help!

Jeff :)

Last edited by Otarujef : Monday 24th June 2019 at 04:26. Reason: add text
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