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romy ocon | all galleries >> Wild Birds of the Philippines (Photos) >> My Favorites >> Curlews, Whimbrels and Godwits > IMG_4756.JPG
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Far Eastern Curlew

Scientific name - Numenius madagascariensis

Habitat - Uncommon along coast on exposed mud and coral flats.

Canon EOS 20D
1/2000s f/7.1 at 400.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
steve 01-Nov-2004 10:22
Correction: I intended to say that the white of the underbelly is a little whiter than I would expect for madagascariensis - not for arquata.
steve 01-Nov-2004 10:21
I promised James that I would come back and look at this one again. There are three or four things that I look at for madagascariensis and arquata. Generally speaking, madagascariensis is more heavily streaked on the neck and breast while the breast spotting in arquata tends to be more discrete and generally on a whiter field. Moreover, arquata is generally whiter on the underbelly and vent. From what I can see from these photos these zones appear a little whiter than I would expect for arquata but I don't really have good views of this zone. In these photos it is not really possible to see well the color of the zones between the dark transverse striping on the upper tail retrices but from what I can see they look brownish or dirty white which would be more consistent with madagascariensis. Normally these same interstripes are white in arquata. Sometimes it is possible to see a whitish gular region in arquata but I have seen some madagascariensis with enough white where this is not a conclusive indicator, at least for me. This flight shot is good enough that if it were arquata I should see some indication of a white rump even at this angle and I do not. I also kind of mentally calculate an index of the bill length against the head from the back of the head to about halfway through the bill insertion and measure this length against the rest of the bill. An empirical method and certainly not failsafe because I have seen certain arquata certainly with very long bill, however, this usually gives me an index for arquata of between 2.2 - 2.5, and for madagascariensis 2.8 - 3.3. This one looks to be about 3.0 to me. So, this coupled with not being able to see any white rump at all does not induce me to change my opinion on this one. Numenius madagascariensis for me.
steve 26-Oct-2004 20:08
That is what it looks like to me as well.
romy ocon26-Oct-2004 07:59
Looks like the Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), with the absence of a white rump.
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