Solomon Islands Laundering Birds?

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Even red list species are being exported under the claim that they are captive bred despite the lack of breeding facilities in the archipelago. Amazingly, CITES is actually getting on the case after the practice has been going on for only ten years… a. Asides

Eye Level with a Whiskered Treeswift

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There are four species in the family, ranging from India to the Solomon Islands. Treeswifts are funny little things. They’re swifts, only they aren’t, actually. When they were first described they were thought to be a link between the swallows and the swifts. Of course this is nonsense, and they are clearly close to swifts, but with a hind toe that lets them perch like a swallow, they sit outside the family as well, in their own, rarely thought about, family.

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The complete guide to Dodo relatives, living and dead

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In fact, the Dodo belonged to a clade (sometimes called Raphini) of 15 remarkable, bizarre, intriguing island-adapted pigeons, some of which are still alive today, but eight of which have been hacked from the tree of life, driven to extinction by humans. All of the birds within Raphini are highly specialized for island life. The Dodo lived on Mauritius, an island east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. There were undoubtedly other raphines on small islands.

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Some thoughts on scientific collecting

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The species was in the news because some scientists had finally managed (or bothered – it’s much the same thing) to locate the population high in the mountains of the Solomon Islands, and catch and photograph one. I took measurements from Chatham Bellbirds, Chatham Fernbirds, and South Island Snipe.

Trolling for Cuckoos in Costa Rica

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On one memorable occasion, I recall a birder breaking his cover while I was watching the movie, “The Thin Red Line” Given that the director of that war film is into nature and might also be a birder, I guess it was expected that a few fantastic looking birds from the Solomon Islands would appear on the screen now and then. I watch birds pretty much all the time.

Linda Hufford: A Rehabber Comments on “Collecting” Rare Birds

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This attitude of superiority and arrogance can be seen in the recent story about a researcher on the Solomon Islands who mist trapped a bird not seen by scientists for fifty years. This week’s guest blog was written by Linda Hufford, who has been a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in raptors for over twenty years. She runs Birds of Texas Rehabilitation Center in Austin County, Texas.

Clearing up the Collared Kingfishers

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One new Pacific island form is the Mariana Kingfisher ( Todiramphus albicilla ) from the Mariana Islands in Micronesia. The Pacific Kingfisher ( Todiramphus sacer ) is one of three species identified in the South Pacific, the other two being from the Solomon Islands and I have no images of them (The Colonist Kingfisher and Melanesian Kingfisher ).

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The Jewel Hunter: A Book Review About One Birder’s Quest for Pittas and Beer

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Black-faced Pitta is found only on one of the Solomon Islands (northwest of Australia). ” Once he finds and photographs (if he can) the target pitta, he pauses to savor his success and then proceeds to bird the hell out of the island or park or mountain, finding endemics and specialties, birds I’ve never heard of with names like Philipine Frogmouth, Malaysian Rail-Babblier, Rusty Laughingthrush, Great Argus.

The Pelican is not a New Zealand Bird

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Australian Pelican ( Pelecanus conspicillatus ) at Centennial Park, Sydney No pelicans were recorded in New Zealand when the Europeans first arrived, and it wasn’t until 1930 that fossils of pelicans were discovered in a cave in central North Island. The answer should be obvious to any birder that enjoys a bit of twitching; they were lost.The species is actually prone to that; they regularly turn up in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Chasing cuckoos

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While Australian birds migrate to New Guinea, New Zealand birds migrate to the Bismark Archipelago and the Solomon Islands (there are also resident populations in New Caledonia and Vanuatu). While I sometimes complain about the lack of variety of birds in New Zealand, there are at least some birds here that are a) hard to find but b) can be found in many places.

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Confusing Collared Kingfishers

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Vanuatu has five subspecies, Fiji has three, and the far flung Solomon Islands have twelve. It would be harder to get a stronger contrast to the dark headed Australian sordita than the form found on the Micronesian island of Saipan. Just to make things even more confusing there is a race of the Chattering Kingfisher, ruficollaris , from Mangaia in the Cook Islands, which might also be placed with the Sacred Kingfisher.

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