Thrushes: olive vs Karoo

  • Johan van Rensburg
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10 years 1 month ago #5976 by Johan van Rensburg
Johan van Rensburg created the topic: Thrushes: olive vs Karoo
Relatively similar in appearance, the olive thrush differs by having a white throat, spotted/steaked with grey; a brown eyering and white vent with grey spots. Both Newmans and Sasol fieldguides have the olive thrush's vent colour incorrectly specified as white only. Roberts VII (not a fieldguide by any stretch) has it correct though.
The Karoo thrush has no easily discernable markings on its throat or vent, both being a drab grey, while the eyering is orange in colour.

This bumshot clearly shows the vent of the olive thrush is not plain white.

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  • David Swanepoel
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10 years 1 month ago #6000 by David Swanepoel
David Swanepoel replied the topic:
Something else to look out for when distinguishing between these species, is the flank colour: Grey in Karoo, more orange in Olive

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  • Dave Shedman
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9 years 2 months ago #8389 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic:
Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I have a question.

According to our Sasol guide, sadly the only reference book we have, we shouldn't get Olive Thrushes in the area where we live (NW suburbs of Johannesburg). However, amongst the Karoo Thrushes we see every day in our garden there's one that stands out by having a heavily speckled throat and dark eye ring, which would imply that it's an Olive Thrush. The clincher would be the vent but as it's generally seen on the ground or on our low garden wall, we rarely get a chance to see the vent. I thought I saw speckling on it once when it sat in a tree but it flew off just as I was focussing the binoculars (don't they always?) so I can't be certain. I'm trying desperately to get a good photo but it generally sits in the shade so it's difficult to get a clear shot with my cheap camera.

Anyway, my question is this: how accurate are the distribution maps shown in Sasol and other books? As I said, according to Sasol the Olive Thrush doesn't appear in this region but we're pretty damn certain that Fred (we gave him / her a name because he / she is easily discernible from the others by the speckled throat) is exactly that.

Watch this space for photos!

Ô¿Ô

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  • wernher
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9 years 2 months ago #8392 by wernher
wernher replied the topic:

Anyway, my question is this: how accurate are the distribution maps shown in Sasol


Graeme, I was wondering the same thing after I had seen Red-Billed Quelea close to Stellenbosch and on another occasion close to Mosselbay.

The Sasol and Roberts' Multimedia distribution maps show their ranges as not extending further westwards than Port Elizabeth along the coast, and yet I saw them much further west.

I would guess that there are 3 possibilities: that the distribution maps aren't entirely accurate, that perhaps due to publishing dates they don't represent the most recent movements or that the birds could be "medium distance vagrants".

Cheers,
Wernher

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