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Undescribed bird in Madagascar?

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Old Thursday 1st March 2018, 15:23   #51
jurek
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It seems surprising that the Dusky Tetraka groups with the Madagascar Yellowbrow, although it is visually almost identical to Spectacled. Were other scenarios excluded (eg. it is a hybrid)?

One little thing: another difference seems that Spectacled Tetraka has yellow throat and middle of the belly, but Dusky has darker belly. This may help in the field.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 10:12   #52
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The classification of Yellowbrow as a sister taxon is based on a PhD thesis (N L Block 2012, Cryptic Diversity and Phylogeography in the Bernieridae, an Endemic Malagasy Passerine Radiation, University of Chicago) which is I believe unpublished (I have not searched for a precis on-line). I am told the list of museum specimens includes juvenile birds.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 11:09   #53
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Best ref. is Birds of Africa (which I'm afraid I don't have). The 2015 FG by Frank Hawkins (who I believe has actually seen one) describes and illustrates the short tail, also lists narrower yellow throat and eye ring and darker breast band (discernible in photos on this thread). Gives relatively longer and stouter legs as a feature too, presumably related to habits which are said to be largely terrestrial, not venturing above 0.5 m. C.f. its validity there are, I believe, juvenile specimens and a PhD thesis established Yellowbrow as a sister taxon (c.f. my reply to a post above for a reference of sorts, it is unpublished). Have tried repeatedly to reply specifically to the post that included the photos but my efforts keep appearing here.

Last edited by custard : Friday 9th March 2018 at 11:14.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 16:59   #54
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Very interesting info, custard. Do you know where Frank saw the species and where the juvenile specimens were taken from? (Or any other specimens for that matter that arent held at Tring...?). A first hand account from Frank would be really good to hear.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 18:39   #55
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I am not certain Frank Hawkins has seen it but he is listed as the sole author of a CI survey report which appears to be the source of one one of the few recent records regarded as reliable. It is from Zahamena NP, a locality not really visited by non-resident birders. I spent two months surveying lemurs there in 1999 with Sam Woods, hence my interest in the species. We saw a couple of birds we wondered about briefly but concluded they were Spectacled. It appears that we were correct as I don't think Dusky has been recorded in the sector of the park in which we were working, which I think was probably a little high for it (HBW gives elevation for Dusky as up to 950m). There is a voice recording listed on Hawkins and Ranft, Bird Sounds of Madagascar. There is some specimen data in Birds of Africa, which as I say is the best reference. I don't have it but managed to find some pages on line and it appears there are 3 specimens in AMNH, New York and the 2 juveniles, which are actually referred to as 'presumed this species', are in MNH, Paris. Don't now where they were taken.
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