Mystery Bird: Brown-breasted Barbet, Lybius melanopterus

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[Mystery bird] Adult with fledgling Brown-breasted Barbet, Lybius melanopterus, photographed in the Pangani River Camp, Tanzania, Africa. [I will identify these birds for you in 48 hours]

Image: Dan Logen, 9 January 2010 [larger view].

Nikon D300, 600 mm lens, ISO 800, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, Exposure compensation +1.7.

A little known fact about the Pangani River Camp is that it is owned by Massey Swynnerton, whose grandfather was a pioneer ornithologist in Africa. Swynnerton's Robin is named for him. Perhaps some of you know a little more about him?

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

Review all mystery birds to date.

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Seems like this family is the weekend special- heavy bills, bright colors, bristles...

Diagnostic for the adults of this species is the red face and throat bordered with black... but these seem to be juveniles so the head and upper breast are brown streaked with orange and red and it seems appropriate that three famous Roman Consuls were indeed "collared" for political futures...

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 21 Feb 2010 #permalink

unless of course (my final answer) these are indeed adults and are supposed to have that "brown breast" and those "black wings"...!

(I apologise- comment #1 was my "hilmy" key but comment #2 follows in the "sweet" tradition!)

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 21 Feb 2010 #permalink

Err Grrl, the answer is in the last sentence of the write-up!!

LOL Adrian, I didn't even notice!... "black wings" indeed!

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 21 Feb 2010 #permalink

It's not a duck. Therefore, it's a hydra. Because it has multiple heads. However, as I recall the Lernaean hydra has more than two heads, so either this is a different species, it's hiding a few heads, or it had a nasty encounter with that Heracles fellow.

LOL @ Kim!

I'm sorry, what I meant was that we seem to periodically have had a barbet either on a Saturday or Sunday ("the weekend special"):

Sunday, February 14th: Usamiro Barbet, Trachyphonus usambiro

Saturday, January 23rd: White-eared Barbet, Stactolaema leucotis

Saturday, January 2nd: another White-eared Barbet, Stactolaema leucotis

I guess because I can't see the photos during the week from work, seeing them at home on the weekend it becomes more clear... anyway, once the snow finally melts, I'll not see them on weekends either as I'll already be out building gardens or on a preserve somewhere...

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 21 Feb 2010 #permalink