Friday, April 28, 2017
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Other Birds

Curlew sandpiper Calidris ferruginea


Identification:
· Length: 7 inches
· Medium-sized shorebird
· Decurved bill
· Black legs
· White rump
· White wing stripe
· Sexes similar
· Common in Iraq and all Arabian gulf states

 

Adult alternate:
· Reddish-brown head, mantle, breast, and belly
· Black bases to back feathers
· White undertail coverts with dark spots


Adult basic:
· Gray head with white supercilium
· Gray breast with indistinct streaking
· Gray upperparts
· White belly and undertail coverts


Juvenile:
· Similar to adult basic
· Mantle black with thin pale white edging
· Head and breast with brownish wash

 

Similar species:
In alternate plumage, the reddish-brown plumage is diagnostic. The Dunlin also has a de curved bill but lacks a white rump. Stilt Sandpiper has greenish legs and a thicker bill. Other similar-sized shorebirds lack the de curved bill.

 

FULICA ATRA (COOT)


Identification:
· Length: 12 inches Wingspan: 25 inches
· Fairly large, duck-like waterbird with short wings and a short tail
· Very short, thick bill
· Frequently seen both swimming and walking
· Often flicks and cocks short tail while walking, exposing white outer undertail coverts
· Sexes similar
· Toes have lobed webbing, unlike gallinules


Adult:
· White bill with dark reddish ring just before tip
· White frontal shield with reddish oval near tip
· Slate gray head, neck, back, upperwings, breast and belly


Juvenile:
· Lacks the frontal shield of the adult
· Horn-colored bill may lack ring near tip
· Pale gray-brown head, neck, upperwings, breast and back; feathers on underparts often with paler edges


Similar species:
Common Moorhen is of similar size and shape but has a reddish bill with a yellowish tip, a white stripe along the flanks, and a brownish back.

 

Gallinula chloropus (Common moorhen)


Identification:
· Length: 10.5 inches Wingspan: 21 inches
· Fairly large, duck-like waterbird with short wings and a short tail
· Very short, thick bill
· Frequently seen both swimming and walking
· Often flicks and cocks short tail while walking, exposing white outer undertail coverts which are also easily visible while swimming
· Sexes similar

 

Adult:
· Red frontal shield above bill
· Red bill with a yellow tip
· Slate gray head, neck, breast and belly
· Brownish back and upperwings
· White stripe along upper flanks
· Tarsus and feet greenish yellow, tibia red


Juvenile:
· Small, dull red frontal shield
· Dark bill with dull yellow tip
· Pale gray-brown head and underparts
· Whitish throat and belly
· Dark gray-brown upperparts
· White stripe along flanks


Similar species:
In poor light, adult can be confused with Purple Gallinule, but can be distinguished by red forehead shield and white flank stripe. Common Coot has a whitish bill, lacks the flank stripe and has a slate gray back. Immature Purple Gallinules are much paler and lack the white flank stripe.