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Owls And Other Birds - Sighted In C.Rai Area?

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Today, I saw a small owl. It was probably a juvenile, it was about 7 inches tall, light brown, and looked right at me with big black eyes, about 3 meters away. Prior, I've seen owls around here, but they're medium sized and speckled white and gray - always in limestone cliffs. The little brown one was in a bamboo grove.

Raptors I have never seen in the wild in Northern Thailand: eagles, cranes, vultures or griffins.

very rarely seen: small hawks, crows, woodpeckers. and a small bird with a very long black thin tail piece.

Somewhat rarely seen: wild ducks, swifts.

There's a common smallish bird which is very loud. It has a bright yellow beak and it's colors are mostly white and black It sings a song which is most unusual. It can last up to ten seconds, and it hits very low and very high notes in quick succession. I've tried recording it, but it seems to know when I turn on the audio to record. Its other sound is a territorial caw, like a crow's.

There's another small bird which I haven't seen which sings a song of up to 16 distinct notes. I'm a musician, so it particularly intrigues me. I sense it's small because the force of the voice is faint.

I don't know the names of the 2 above mentioned birds. Any light you can shed on any of these sightings / listenings, is appreciated.

If anyone is interested in seeing a cave with thousands of bats, let me know. It's in the hill across from Chiang Rai Beach (no, not the Buddha cave). I'll show you how to get there. In fact, it's possible to walk in the south side of the hill and out the north side. Takes about 25 minutes, with no crawling, but some easy climbing.

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The owl is probably an Asian Barred Owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides). An adult measures 9 inches from head to tail. A sitting bird appears to be about 7 inches.

The Asian Barred Owlet is often seen during daylight. They are noisy birds and can sing melodiously at the start of the mating season.

If your medium sized owl is considerable larger (about 13 inches in length) than the above and near limestones it is probably a Barn Owl (Tyto Alba). Unless disturbed during the day, they only fly at night.

My guess is that, "the common smallish bird which is very loud, has a bright yellow beak and it's colors are mostly white and black", is an Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra). Beware the Asian Pied Starling measures about 9 inches from head to tail. Which is the same length as the Asian Barred Owlet but the starling is more slender.

It would help to identify the "small bird which I haven't seen which sings a song of up to 16 distinct notes" if you could tell us where you have seen this bird, it's habitat.

I do not know for sure if I am allowed to put a link here. There is a website called yonokwetlands, Birdwatching and Conservation in northern Thailand.

Since 2007 Mick & Dowroong are trying to protect the best birdwatching areas around Chiang Saen. The best photographs are under 2011.

The best bird images for this area can be found in the database of the Oriental Bird Club. No login is required to access the images.

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Nice report and response. We are north of Chiang mai about 35 kilometers and we regularly see hawks, ducks, and a month ago a group of ospreys were in the area for a few weeks. The most common bird here is the black collared starling, and we do have black swifts that compete for the insects with the swallows over the pond in the evenings. There is another bird that is greenish that appears sometimes and it is very aerobatic with an unusual up-turned beak. I am still trying to find that one in the books!

Edited by T_Dog

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I have seen a Common Hoopoe (Upupa epops) only once here in Chiang Rai. This was somewhere near the new highway is being built. The green bee-eater is a delight to see - especially with its long pointed tail. My favorite bird, however is the White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus). Such a wonderful and vocal piece of work.

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If it is possible some photos would be great.

Good idea! Here is a website for the common ones......

http://www.thaibirdi...softhailand.htm

We saw number 5, a Kingfisher a few minutes ago eating dinner.

Good site. I identified some around our house

I think i saw a couple partriges the other day, but i dont have pear trees?

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Here is a more complete website of photos. Ten pages of photos you

can scroll through to identify your bird of the day! If anyone has a better website with the species arranged by categories, please post.

http://http://www.pb...rds_of_thailand

Edited by T_Dog

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at T_Dog post #3

"greenish that appears sometimes and it is very aerobatic with an unusual up-turned beak"

Greenish and aerobatic would make it a bee-eater. Up-turned beak would make it a barbet.

If you try get an identification of a bird, it is important to add observations on habitat and behaviour. Bee-eaters catch dragonflies, bees, etc. in flight and return often to a perch. Barbets feed on fruit and nectar in the treetops.

at mumbojumbo post #9

On the lighter side: "what my true love gave to me ..." on The Twelve Days of Christmas would make a wonderful topic on Thaivisa.

Some partridge species roost in trees.

Edited by hmj

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at T_Dog post #3

"greenish that appears sometimes and it is very aerobatic with an unusual up-turned beak"

Greenish and aerobatic would make it a bee-eater. Up-turned beak would make it a barbet.

If you try get an identification of a bird, it is important to add observations on habitat and behaviour. Bee-eaters catch dragonflies, bees, etc. in flight and return often to a perch. Barbets feed on fruit and nectar in the treetops.

at mumbojumbo post #9

On the lighter side: "what my true love gave to me ..." on The Twelve Days of Christmas would make a wonderful topic on Thaivisa.

Some partridge species roost in trees.

hmj.... the beak was the most distinctive characteristic. They appeared in a group of ten or so at dusk and would dive bomb the pond, pulling got centimeters above the surface. much more aerobatic than the swallows and they provided an impressive air show. Will try to get a photograph next time they appear.

Here is a photo of what I think I have mistakenly identified as a Swift. Not a great photo but maybe someone will recognize it.

post-498-0-24706000-1343608845_thumb.jpg

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good replies. Now I know the name of the noisy aggressive bird is a starling. And the small light brown owl is an Asian barred owl.

as for the 'Barn Owl,' more than once, while I've been climbing solo on limestone cliffs in the C.Rai area, one has taken flight, a few meters above me. As they do, they screech and let go of a load of poop. Sometimes I get hit, sometimes not.

One sad occurrence, was about 12 years ago, I was bicycling near some limestone, and a little hill tribe boy was walking with two owl chicks. He was holding them upside down by their feet. I stopped and tried telling him it was 'no good' (I didn't speak 5 words of Thai at that time). But he understood and quickened his pace. I then offered to buy the birds (to set them free) but he took off. A few years later, the vendor in town (located next to the Taiwan-run Vege restaurant rear of the Night Bazaar), had two juvenile owls in a cage so small, they couldn't spread their wings. I asked him how he got the birds and whether he would sell them to me. He didn't want to deal. Haven't seen the owls since.

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After looking at the photos on the link it looks as though the loud aggressive bird which is all over my property, is called 'Common Myna.' Acridotheres tristis. From childhood, I recall learning that Myna birds are famous for mimicking all sorts of sounds.

Are starlings and myna two names for the same type of bird?

Also, 2 months ago I was motorcycling off the beaten trail in Krabi, near the ocean. At a small village, there was what appeared to be a Myna bird collectors' meeting. There must have been 110 Thai men there, no women and no farang, except me. And they hung at least 3 dozen cages up in two rows, all myna birds. I surmised it's their way to socialize, both for the men, and for the birds. Every bird was cackling away, and the men were smoking buri and relatively quiet.

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Another thing I saw in Krabi, besides two large monitor lizards at two different sites:

Two small black colored birds on the ground. A male was courting a female. He displayed his tail feathers like a black fan (to the female, of course), while quickly darting from side to side while squawking faintly. Didn't last more than 6 seconds. Was probably a female who had spurned him before, so he didn't persist.

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