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Help with IDs - Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

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Old Saturday 20th December 2008, 04:18   #1
jocateme
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Help with IDs - Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Here are some birds seen in Eldorado, S Mato Grosso do Sul state, CW Brazil. I'm having some trouble to identify them, so I'd appreciate any help.

I'll begin with some Tringa spp. (or is it just one sp.?):

1 - Seems to me Tringa flavipes.

2 - Same bird, same guess (+Roseate Spoonbill and White-backed Stilt).

3 - Taken in the same place, after about an hour. I'm leaning towards T. melanoleuca.

4 - After the bird in picture #3 flew away, another one (presumably Tringa sp.) nearby flew with it, and they both perched in the other side of the lake, where they are standing in this picture (#4). Either I have to improve my sense of scale or these are two different species.

5 - When I saw this picture on my screen, I got really confused. These two birds don't look like any of the ones I had photographed (#1-#4), do they? The upperwing seem somewhat more conspicuous...

I hope some expert on Yellowlegs can help with these ones, even though the photos don't do it pretty well!

Cheers all!
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Old Saturday 20th December 2008, 07:28   #2
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I think I go along with your suggestions on the Yellowlegs, João, and you certainly have both in picture 4. The birds in picture 5 look like Solitary Sandpipers.
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Old Saturday 20th December 2008, 13:28   #3
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Hi Joao,

I agree with pics 1 to 4 (pic 4 both species) and with Andrew, Solitary Sands for pic 5.

Mark
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Old Saturday 20th December 2008, 20:22   #4
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Many thanks, Mark and Andrew! This helped a lot! The three Tringa spp. occurring in Brazil were in this little lake!

And here's another pic, I think it's Solitary Sandpiper as well (I'm pretty sure it's one of the individuals in picture #5, but not 100%):
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Old Sunday 21st December 2008, 00:06   #5
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Hi Joao,

Your last shot is also a solitary. And I agree with the other IDs above.
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Old Sunday 21st December 2008, 14:42   #6
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Thanks, Jeff! Solitary Sand is a lifer to me.

Here are some more mysteries:

1 - Just a Great Kiskadee? The bill seems a bit strange, doesn't it?

2 & 3 - Male Picumnus sp., not sure what species.

4 - The moment I took the picture, I thought they were both male Swallow Tanagers (maybe an adult feeding an immature), but a friend suggested that the one to the left could be a Blue Dacnis, and that they are actually not interacting, it's just optical illusion. What do you feel?

5 - Ok, I know flycatcher like this are a nightmare to ID, but I'm still in hope. If it helps, I've heard the voice (which somehow didn't appear in my recordings), and it was like: "pi-uí".

Hope you guys can help me with these ones, too.

1 - http://jocateme.multiply.com/photos/..._read%3D69%234

2 - http://jocateme.multiply.com/photos/...read%3D69%2312

3 - http://jocateme.multiply.com/photos/...read%3D69%2313

4 - http://jocateme.multiply.com/photos/...-_Parte_1%2336

5 - Thumbnail
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Old Sunday 21st December 2008, 15:24   #7
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Hi Joao,

Where did you take the Picumnus? Looks to me like a White-wedged Piculet of the 'race' guttifer sometimes know as Guttate Piculet.

Mark
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Old Sunday 21st December 2008, 17:29   #8
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Hi Mark,

All of the pictures were taken in Eldorado, SW Mato Grosso do Sul state, near the border with Parana state and Paraguay. Both Picumnus albosquamatus (guttifer) and P. cirratus occur there, but as they look a lot like each other, I always have doubts when trying to ID Picumnus spp. According to my field guide, one mark that distinguishes them is the presence of white dots in albosquamatus hind neck.

Thanks for the help!
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Old Monday 22nd December 2008, 12:46   #9
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Hi João..

1 - Yes, Great Kiskadee... just a strange angle.

2 and 3- White-wedged Piculet, but the albosquamatus race (lack of round white dots on the wing and back).

4 - Yes I'd say Blue Dacnis. They don't appear to be interacting, the dacnis is behind the tanager.

5 - Impossible to tell for sure, but it looks like a Phyllomyias Tyrannulet, maybe Reiser's or Planalto? Check their songs and calls.
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Old Monday 22nd December 2008, 15:54   #10
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Thanks, Octavio!

So #1 is Great Kiskadee and #4 Blue Dacnis.

How do you manage to ditinguish nominate race White-wedged from White-barred? Breast pattern?

I checked the calls of possible Tyrannulets for the region (Phyllomyias and Phylloscartes spp. and Phaeomyias murina), using "Aves de Paraguay" (Narosky), and the closest I got was Rough-legged (Phyllomyias burmeisteri) and Bay-ringed (Phylloscartes sylviolus) Tyrannulets, but not quite the same calls as I heard. Thanks for the tip, anyway.

And I just managed to find the (#5's) calls in my recordings! Happens that they were too low, so I had to amplify the recordings. Therefore I think you'd better lower the volume a bit to avoid a shock! hehe
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Old Monday 22nd December 2008, 16:12   #11
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Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
How do you manage to ditinguish nominate race White-wedged from White-barred? Breast pattern?
Breast pattern Joao, and on range, Aracari's suggestion of ssp looks correct according to HBW despite the fact that your bird appears to have covert spots on my monitor and the breast feathers rather extensively dark centred
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Old Monday 22nd December 2008, 16:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
How do you manage to ditinguish nominate race White-wedged from White-barred? Breast pattern?
Breast pattern, like rockfowl said, and also overal color. The White-barred is not as dark as that bird.

Quote:
And I just managed to find the (#5's) calls in my recordings! Happens that they were too low, so I had to amplify the recordings. Therefore I think you'd better lower the volume a bit to avoid a shock! hehe
I checked the recordings... it could also be a totally different family, maybe a Gray-eyed Greenlet. But I can't really distinguish which one is the sound of the bird in your recording...
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Old Monday 22nd December 2008, 17:44   #13
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I thought P a. guttatus would occur there, having Sigrist's guide as a referrence. He points nominate P. a. albosquammatus for Pantanal (which is in the opposite side of MS state) and guttatus por southeastern and central-western Brazil, of which MS takes part. But I'm convinced it is White-wedged after seeing the arguments Octavio and Mark gave.

About #5, just let me add an important detail I had forgotten: the picture was taken in Salto del Guairá, Canindeyú province, Paraguay, just beside the border with Brazil. The distance between the place where the rest of the pictures were taken and the place this one was taken is about 25 kilometers (15 miles). Sorry for that...

Octavio, maybe this helps you to hear the calls:
In recording 1: there's a Pale-reasted Thrush beggining to sing at about 2,3s and the unidentified call is at 3,5s
And I've just noticed there's something wrong with recording 2, I'm re-uploading it. The call is at 0,8s, more or less.

Hylophilus sp. seems a good possibility to me, or at least the right track. They have a very thin and pointy bill just like "my" bird seems to have. The one Greenlet occurring there is Rufous-crowned (H. poicilotis), but checking the voice in x-c, don't think that was the bird.

See if you can hear the bird now, ok?

Cheers and many thanks for the help!
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Old Tuesday 23rd December 2008, 01:13   #14
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Just a question: does the "dacnis-like" bird have elongate middle tail feathers a little like lanse-tailed manakin? Or what explains that outcropping?

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Old Tuesday 23rd December 2008, 07:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
I thought P a. guttatus would occur there, having Sigrist's guide as a referrence. He points nominate P. a. albosquammatus for Pantanal (which is in the opposite side of MS state) and guttatus por southeastern and central-western Brazil, of which MS takes part.
Ranges shouldn't be based on political borders, but on biogeography. From that point of view, the "true" Pantanal is strongly associated with the habitats found throughout a fair percentage of the region (most of MS, a large percentage of MT, southernmost RO), and even extends slightly eastwards into western GO and south-western TO (and of course also into Bolivia and Paraguay). Nevertheless, in this case, albosquamatus is indeed essentially restricted to the regions bordering Bolivia, and intergrades with guttifer further east. As such, identification to exact subspecies can often be problematic in this region, but if "your" piculet is a pure subspecies, it is guttifer (on photo #3 you can see dark-centered feathers with white edges; in albosquamatus it is the other way around - underparts with white-centered feathers with dark edges). While I don't see anything pointing in that direction for the bird discussed here, piculet identification in this part of Brazil is further confused by hybridization between the White-wedged and the White-barred. Indeed, these hybrids were once believed to represent a separate (sub)species, P. (a.) corumbanus (in the past, there had also been speculations that corumbanus were intraspecific hybrids between P. a. albosquamatus and P. a. guttifer, but recent evidence suggests that idea was mistaken). Regardless, if the underparts are essentially barred = White-barred; essentially scaled = White-wedged. The distinct white spots to the mantle, as you mention, are also of some use, but this is only really a good feature in P. a. guttifer, as these are greatly reduced in P. a. albosquamatus. However, as said before, hybrids are well-known in this genus, and if you're in a region where members of the same group meet, and you see an individual that doesn't quite match either species, it would be mistaken to just assume it is pure. Especially the members of the White-barred/White-wedged/Ochre-collared/Ocellated group appear to hybridize in most places where their ranges come into contact, but hybridization within this genus is by no means limited to them. I've used this brief quote by J. V. Remsen before, but it explains the situations rather well:

"Species-level taxonomy in the genus Picumnus is in need of major re-evaluation; interbreeding, to varying degrees, between various pairs of parapatric and partially sympatric species is inordinately high."

Yes, #4 looks like a Swallow Tanager & Blue Dacnis.

I don't have much of a hearing right now (just finishing off a case of cold), but I do think I can hear a faint Greenish Elaenia in your recording of #5, and that would match the bird on the photo, too.

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Old Tuesday 23rd December 2008, 15:04   #16
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Niels, I've just noticed what yoi said. Very strande indeed... Could it be a branch that seems to be part of the tail?

Rasmus, I'll keep your response about Piculets carefully. I was aware of these interspecific Piculet hybrids (after you wrote in some thread I have created some time ago), but not that they were that abundant! And I guess corumbanus comes from the city of Corumbá, right? So:
  • Barred underparts = Picumnus cirratus
  • Scaled underparts, feathers black-centered with white edges, presence of white spots on mantle = Picumnus albosquamatus guttatus
  • Scaled underparts, feathers white-centered with black edges, (partial) absence of white spots on mantle = Picumnus a. albosquamatus
  • None of the above = Picumnus cirratus x P. albosquamatus (or another species, duh!)
And Rasmus, you're spot on the Greenish Elaenia! I had checked all the Elaenia elaenia, but forgot to check Myiopagis. Comparing to some xeno-canto recordings, fits perfectly! Thank you very much, both for the Picumnus query and the Elaenia ID!

Happy Christmas to all of you!
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Old Tuesday 23rd December 2008, 15:36   #17
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And some more mysteries (the last ones, I think) - all taken in Eldorado, Mato Grosso do Sul state:

1 - I couldn't initially ID this hummer, but a friend suggested immature White-vented Violetear. I guess he is right? http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997

2 - I'm pretty sure these are Wedge-tailed Grass Finches (though the rarer Lesser Grass Finch looks a lot like the one behind), but why are they so different? I guess the front one would be an immature? http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997

3 - Is it a regular Blue-black Grassquit? Is that white belly normal? http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997

4 - Ok, I know this is a rather impossible one, but here's some info:
a. When adjusting the colors a lot, it seems to have a orange/red bill, so I thought of Wedge-tailed Grass Finch, Great Pampa Finch or Black-throated Saltator, BUT...
b. ...I remember hearing a Donacobius voice while this bird was coreographically swinging its tail, seeming that it was making the voice. No way this is a Donacobius, right?
http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997

Thanks for any help!
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Old Tuesday 23rd December 2008, 16:41   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
And some more mysteries (the last ones, I think) - all taken in Eldorado, Mato Grosso do Sul state:

1 - I couldn't initially ID this hummer, but a friend suggested immature White-vented Violetear. I guess he is right? http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997
Check what I just wrote about a clearly dropped bill-tip here:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....postid=1363122 (post #11)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
2 - I'm pretty sure these are Wedge-tailed Grass Finches (though the rarer Lesser Grass Finch looks a lot like the one behind), but why are they so different? I guess the front one would be an immature? http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997
You're right. An imm. close to the camera. When compared to ad's, a yellower throat/eyebrow is common in juv's of a wide range of South American Emberizidae (and yes, here I'm speaking about the "traditional" Emberizidae... before it became clear that several of these really aren't Emberizidae).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
3 - Is it a regular Blue-black Grassquit? Is that white belly normal? http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997
No, not typical, but with the moult of the Blue-black, strange things somethimes happen (I'm pretty sure I wrote a brief post about moult-sequence in this species some time ago; a search for grassquite+moult should lead to the post).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
4 - Ok, I know this is a rather impossible one, but here's some info:
a. When adjusting the colors a lot, it seems to have a orange/red bill, so I thought of Wedge-tailed Grass Finch, Great Pampa Finch or Black-throated Saltator, BUT...
b. ...I remember hearing a Donacobius voice while this bird was coreographically swinging its tail, seeming that it was making the voice. No way this is a Donacobius, right?
http://images.jocateme.multiply.com/...nmid=151905997

Thanks for any help!
Probably Great Pampa Finch. Certainly not a Donacobius.

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Old Wednesday 24th December 2008, 05:29   #19
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1 - Very nice info, Rasmus! Guess it's really the Violetear, then. The Goldenthroat would have a more consipicuous curve to the end of the bill, right? And that dropped bill-tip you mentioned gives this hummingbird (Polytmus guainumbi) its Brazilian name: "beija-flor-de-bico-torto" (literally, Curved-billed Hummingbird)

2 - Thanks, Rasmus... always learning with your posts!

3 - Just found it: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=69223#13. That did clarifiy things (athough this moulting thing is rather confusing)! And please don't read the first posts of this thread (I guessed a Drymophila Antbird instead of the Grassquit!)

4 - Yes, nothing matches Donacobius there, except for the voice I was hearing. That might have been a mistake of mine. Here is the voice I heard supposedly coming from it (it's one of the three, not too sure which of them, sorry). Anyhow, I'm pretty sure they all Donacobius'... And should I say the bird was in marshy area.

Thanks for the always welcomed help, Rasmus!
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File Type: mp3 Donacobius atricapilla - 081217_0703.mp3 (373.5 KB, 47 views)
File Type: mp3 Donacobius atricapilla - 081217_0711.mp3 (104.9 KB, 43 views)
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Old Friday 26th December 2008, 08:49   #20
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1 - Very nice info, Rasmus! Guess it's really the Violetear, then. The Goldenthroat would have a more consipicuous curve to the end of the bill, right? And that dropped bill-tip you mentioned gives this hummingbird (Polytmus guainumbi) its Brazilian name: "beija-flor-de-bico-torto" (literally, Curved-billed Hummingbird)
No. Your photo shows the goldenthroat. Nice smooth curve to the bill, which is well beyond the curvature to the violetear bill. After having seen a few, the difference is striking, but I realize that it may not be obvious until having gained a bit of experiance with them.
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 09:54   #21
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Oops... I'd better start studying a bit more... You gave the tip and I did not even got a 50/50 option correct! Anyway, thanks once again for the ID, that's another lifer for me.
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