Sunday, September 28, 2008

Accounting for the tail

Latham's Snipe (Gallinado hardwickii) pictured at high noon today standing quietly at the edge of a treatment pond. Sorry about the harsh light. Don't have flash capable of infill.

Seen, say, in Darwin the bird might be a Pin-tailed Snipe (G. stenura) or Swinhoe's Snipe (G. megala). How to tell the difference? Easy. Catch the bird. Carefully count the tail feathers. Got 18 or fewer? It's Latham's. Got 20+? Pin-tailed. Got 24+? Swinhoe's.


See? Dead easy. Do you know, there are some people who say bird ID can be difficult!

1 comment:

Mosura said...

Nice one!

Maybe you could play "Shake a Tail Feather" on an mp3 - might make them easier to count.

Knotted Keelback kicks up stink after road rescue

Bird in the hand worth two in the bush, so what's a snake-in-hand worth? Not two in the grass. Palmful of foul fluids, that's what...