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Author Topic: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?  (Read 3029 times)

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Offline Ivo

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warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« on: November 02, 2008, 11:26:53 AM »
Can anyone please identify this enameled bird. It is on a blue vase most likely by Legras...
Ivo
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Offline krsilber

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2008, 08:05:24 PM »
Of those three it looks most like a warbler, since cuckoos have curved bills and shrikes have hooked bills.  The bill is a little long for a warbler, though, so maybe it's not that, either.

I wonder if the artist took a little licence with it, at least with the coloring.  White backs like that aren't very common, probably for camouflage reasons - they are easily visible to predatory birds.
Kristi


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Offline KevinH

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 12:47:10 AM »
I have just finshed an enjoyable browse through two large books, one covering Europe and the other North America. I can find nothing that fits the plumage of this bird.

But if it is a real one, or a close approximation, it may be a Thrush or a Wheatear or a Pipit or even a type of Flycatcher with long bill.
KevinH


Offline krsilber

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 05:38:42 AM »
I was thinking it looked quite thrush-like.  The body seems kind of long and the legs rather substantial for flycatchers or wheatears, but pipit seems like a good possibility.  Then again, I'm thinking in general terms for the groups - there could be all kinds of variants over there I don't know about.  Wish I had a guide to European birds to browse through, that does sound enjoyable!

Ivo, do you have a photo of the whole vase to share with us?  The glimpse is but a tease... ;D
Kristi


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."

- Albert Einstein


Offline Ivo

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 07:49:48 AM »
First thing I did was of course check the Peterson, and next ask the expert.  Actually nothing matches the plumage - the light back and the dark eye stripe, so it may well be a bird painted by a Parisian city dweller with little eye for detail. There are a few birds of fame in French. The Merle (Thrush) is well known and can be found in urban areas. Le Traquet (wheatear) would not be known to most Parisians, and neither is Le Pipit. And so I conclude tentatively "Merle alors" ...

Ivo
► BLUE HENRY ◄
 New Book: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Blue Glass Sputum Flask

all texts and pictures (c) Ivo Haanstra.


Offline Bernard C

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 09:04:16 AM »
Ivo — Instead of looking in the books, I started with its rather strange posture, not typical of most birds, and immediately thought of the Nuthatch, Sitta europaea, as we had had one frequent the oak tree under which we pitched our tent this summer.   Ours had walked up the trunk, down the trunk, round it one way, round it the other, and then it did the hokey cokey, turned itself around, and that's what it's all about!

Everyone together now:
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
That's what it's all about.

Then it did it again, around a branch.

... and again:
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
That's what it's all about.

It's the only British bird that habitually and quite normally walks down tree trunks and along the underside of branches, so more or less any posture is OK.   Incidentally, the Treecreeper, Certhia familiaris, will do the same, but not very often, preferring to fly to a new location and work upwards (at least those I saw on the same Purbeck campsite did).

If you take into account a very limited colour palette, artistic licence, and that it was probably painted from a drawing, it's a fairly good likeness.   See the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds web page.

I hope you all joined in and enjoyed that little musical interlude.

Bernard C.  ;D

ps — In The Netherlands Sitta europaea has the wonderful name Boomklever — see here for other names.
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Glen

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 09:36:05 AM »
See the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds

Ouch! Please don't prevent them :o

We have a "tame" nuthatch in our garden which eats the seeds we put out. It does look a little like him! As an aside, and totally off topic  :-[ a neighbour's predatory cat yesterday fought with a squirrel underneath our hanging seed feeder (the squirrel hoovers up the seeds the birds drop). The cat won and made off with the limp squirrel in its mouth. Not nice!

G
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Sklounion

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 10:55:58 AM »
10 points to the cat,and an extra ration of Felix, if it was a grey squirrel..... ;D ;D
Boos and hisses, if it was a red suirrel.....
Regards,
Marcus


Offline Ivo

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 10:57:45 AM »
ps — In The Netherlands Sitta europaea has the wonderful name Boomklever

Thank you for this musical interlude, Bernard. Of course I am well familiar with the boomklever (sorry no boom, not clever - it translates as tree hugger and is fairly distinct from the drabber looking boomkruiper, or tree-creeper). I'm just not sure the artiste would have painted a blue bird brown, slimmed it down and stretched its legs. Maybe the bird had more talent than the man or woman who painted its portrait...
Ivo
► BLUE HENRY ◄
 New Book: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Blue Glass Sputum Flask

all texts and pictures (c) Ivo Haanstra.


Offline Bernard C

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Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2008, 10:12:40 AM »
Ivo et al — I've posted a query on wildlifebritain.com's forum here.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot

 

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