Mystery Bird: White-eared Barbet, Stactolaema leucotis

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[Mystery bird] White-eared Barbet, Stactolaema leucotis, photographed at Amani Preserve, Tanzania, Africa. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]

Image: Dan Logen, 6 September 2007 [larger view].

Nikon D2X, 200-400 mm lens, at 400. ISO 200, 1/250, f/6.3.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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At the risk of somehow unwittingly fueling another Sheri/Maggie spat, this seems to be our "bristling" friend with the "trickling throat" and "white ears"...

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 23 Jan 2010 #permalink

Let's hope there are no "barbed" comments, David.

LOL, Adrian! Here's hoping I don't get "pecked" either! (Rhamphastidea coming from the Greek , ῥάμÏοÏ, meaning "beak")

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 23 Jan 2010 #permalink

You've beaten me David, I've run out of puns. There seems to be a lot of discussion going on as to the taxonomic status of this bird, with some authorities unsure of both the family and genus which it should be assigned to.

yeah,

this particular subspecies, endemic to both southeastern Kenya and northeastern Tanzania, is usually listed as Stactolaema leucotis kilimensis ("trickling throat" and "white-eared" + the Swahili for "mountain") but it is considered by some to be separate from the Kenyan population sometimes referred to as S. l. kenyae)... I've found it recorded as Megalæma (the newly recorded genus of Asian barbets) and also sometimes placed in a monospecific genus, Smilorhis (ca. late 1800s), and at some point (now corrected) the bocagei subspecies of Lybius torquatus was also listed as a subspecies of S. leucotis.

In my current Clements' taxonomy, the genus is listed as initially described- Stactolaema

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 23 Jan 2010 #permalink

I've also got it listed in the families "Capitonidae" and "Lybiidae". It was also originally classified as Gymnobucco leucotis.