Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: The Sound of Music


Eskered, who sent us a quite nice weka a while back, could use our help.

UFD #1 was taken in Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand. This bird is a song bird, have a rather pathetic video of blurry forest as I frantically looked around for the bird, but the audio is great.

Somewhat blurry photo, alas. We all know what it’s like trying to snap these buggers in uncertain light with all the obstructions the camera’s trying to focus on instead, and the little barstards move the second you get focused on them, if you ever do.

UFD I

Regardless of blur, we’ve this song, and a visual, and surely, someone here can work wonders with them.

I’ve three more from Eskered. I’ll be doling them out slowly as time goes by. There’s one, especially, that geologists are going to identify with. It’s definitely our kind o’ bird.

Comments

  1. rq says

    Tough one, terrible photo (sorry, true), but nice challenge. Love the song. How certain is Eskered that the song belongs to this bird?
    Because I have two initial guesses, based on colour and shape, but one is completely ruled out if the song recorded is this bird.
    Guess #1:
    juvenile tieke or saddleback (http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/tieke2.html); The song doesn’t match up at all, though. Also, I know New Zealand’s heading into spring, but is it too early for juvenile birds to be out and about yet?

    Guess #2:
    black robin (http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/blackrobin.html); Looks a wee bit small and dainty in pictures, but… Maybe?

    That being said, both of these guesses have a very low confidence threshold.
    My initial thought was something towards a wren or a warbler (due to the song) but I couldn’t find anything (yet) that matched colour and shape… No time to be more thorough, though.

    As for the future UFD with a geological twist, I’m betting it’s this one:
    http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/rockwren.html
    … but I could be very wrong. :)

  2. says

    I think this is a male bellbird (Anthornis melanura). It has the right head and beak shape, and has a dark head and yellow vent. (However, many of the pictures on Google have it looking much more yellow-green than this; maybe that’s just lighting?) The song also sounds right (bell-like), though my bird guide says it “varies with the district”.

    • Eskered says

      Thanks heliconia! I’m now pretty sure that was a bellbird after listening to many recordings on youtube.

  3. rq says

    My post is still in moderation. :( But I think you have a better option, especially since the song seems to go with the bird. I was put off by the colour, but it could fit; size and shape do, at any rate. If poor lighting is taken into account, I might even call it an ‘olive green’.
    Much better than my guesses.

  4. fastlane says

    Totally not familiar with NZ birds, so I’d be shooting in the proverbial dark with google. I wish I had a good camera on me a few weeks ago when I got some decent shots of a juvenile Osprey. It was sitting in a tree, calling its parent(s), and took me a while to find it.

  5. Eskered says

    The photo was taken in mid-February (late summer in NZ) at about 7pm under overcast, drizzly skies. I was never positive that the bird in the photo was the one singing, but I knew it was close, and then this bird landed in the brush next to me long enough for me to snap a rather pathetic photo. I’m now much more confident that was the bird.