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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Woodpecker ID-Istanbul (1 Viewer)

babuccu

Member
Turkey
I photograped this woodpecker this evening in Istanbul, where Syrian and Lesser spotted is often observed. The odd behaviour of this individual was that it flew in the direction of autumn migration through the whole huge park and was lost from sight eventually. Syrians usually fly in close distance in the park between trees but flight pattern of this bird was different. I know this single photo is not sufficient since the neck band is not visible etc. however white spots in the tail are dominant. So I wanted to ask anyway, by any chance it may be a great spotted woodpecker? Thanks a lot.
 

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Sangahyando

Well-known member
The outer tail feathers do indeed seem better for GSW, the rest of the diagnostic features are obscured or hard to make out. Shouldn't both species be resident in the region, anyway?
 

babuccu

Member
Turkey
The outer tail feathers do indeed seem better for GSW, the rest of the diagnostic features are obscured or hard to make out. Shouldn't both species be resident in the region, anyway?
thank you. this park i mentioned is one of urban hotspots in Istanbul however gsw was never observed.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
I dont know, but my thoughts:
  • allthough the angle of viewing makes this impossible to judge: even after a second look, this bird gives the impression of an open faced woodpecker to me. Does this bird lacks the black neck-bar of a GSW? If yes, then this the reason for the open-faced look, but this cant be judged here. But .... I am puzzled
  • the bird seems to have a long and slender bill. Yes, this is enhanced here by the blurred picture, but bill shape is better for Syrian than for a GSW
  • I agree with Roland that the pale red vent is better for Syrian, but within variation for GSW
  • Same with the appearantly pale feathering above the bill. This cant be judged here, and more: pale feathers are unusual, but within variation for GSW breeding in Germany.
  • Yes, tail pattern is easy within variation for GSW, but there is an old ALULA paper (my copy is in Brühl, cant look at it) that could shed more light on this feature like more comments from others (thank you as allways)
  • Yes GSW is known as an irruptive migrant species. And I can understand why this appearantly migrating bird attracted your attention.
Conclusion? If I didnt knew, that this bird attracted your attention by a different behaviour from the local Syrian WP (does Syrian migrate, too?), and knowing the location and forced to ID this bird (but only then), I would opt for Syrian here.
 

babuccu

Member
Turkey
The pale red vent is better for Syrian which also has some white at the outermost tail feather. However, don't know if a late-bood-not-yet-moulted 1cy Greater Spotted can be excluded..
Hello,
I dont know, but my thoughts:
  • allthough the angle of viewing makes this impossible to judge: even after a second look, this bird gives the impression of an open faced woodpecker to me. Does this bird lacks the black neck-bar of a GSW? If yes, then this the reason for the open-faced look, but this cant be judged here. But .... I am puzzled
  • the bird seems to have a long and slender bill. Yes, this is enhanced here by the blurred picture, but bill shape is better for Syrian than for a GSW
  • I agree with Roland that the pale red vent is better for Syrian, but within variation for GSW
  • Same with the appearantly pale feathering above the bill. This cant be judged here, and more: pale feathers are unusual, but within variation for GSW breeding in Germany.
  • Yes, tail pattern is easy within variation for GSW, but there is an old ALULA paper (my copy is in Brühl, cant look at it) that could shed more light on this feature like more comments from others (thank you as allways)
  • Yes GSW is known as an irruptive migrant species. And I can understand why this appearantly migrating bird attracted your attention.
Conclusion? If I didnt knew, that this bird attracted your attention by a different behaviour from the local Syrian WP (does Syrian migrate, too?), and knowing the location and forced to ID this bird (but only then), I would opt for Syrian here.
thanks a lot for this detailed description for a photo which is not worth 🙏🏻
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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