Birder's Guide

OCT 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

Issue link: http://bg.aba.org/i/737370

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15 October 2016 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy Other families that may present themselves on a South African trip, which could be needed if missed elsewhere in Africa, are Guineafowl; Hamerkop; Finfoots; Turacos; Mousebirds; Honeyguides; Wattle-eyes & Batises; Bushshrikes & Allies; Vangas, Hel- metshrikes (IOC only) & Allies; Nicators; African Warblers; and Sylviid Warblers. Another critical stop is the island nation of Madagascar, which has 11 principal tar- get families. Most standard bird tours on the island from September to November explore the various distinct habitat zones: the dry zone of the west, wet rainforest belt of the east, and spiny forest of the south. By doing this, it is straightforward to pick up all five Malagasy-endemic bird families: Mesites, Ground-rollers, Cuckoo-roller, Asities, and Malagasy Warblers. Aside from these essen- tial groups, there are six other families that should be sought, too, as most of them are easier here than anywhere else in our plan: Tropicbirds, Crab-plover, Flufftails, Button- quail, Painted-snipes, and Hoopoes. A quick junket to Oman and/or Bah - rain (easily combined) in the Middle East is recommended as the best way of con- necting with the oft-forgotten Hypocolius, a tricky species (and family) away from ei- ther Bahrain or western India. It is crucial to time your visit between November and February, as Hypocolius is only a winter visitor. We chose this location over In - dia because it also offers Streaked Scrub Warbler, which is in a monotypic family if using IOC taxonomy. This corner of the Arabian Peninsula also offers the greatest number of Crab-plovers on Earth, mak- ing it a good backup if you get skunked in Madagascar. Sandgrouse are numerous in this area, and Oman is the nation that offers the greatest variety of Sylviid War- blers, and, therefore, at least one member of these families should be sought if still required while you are there. Top to bottom: n Cuckoo-roller - MADAGASCAR. Photo © Ken Behrens n Spotted Pardalote - AUSTRALIA. Photo © Wayne Butterworth n Masked Tityra - SOUTH AMERICA. Photo © Sam Woods/tropicalbirding.com

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