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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Rufous Treepie OR Just An Odd Magpie In Norfolk Garden?!

A lady called Sue has posted a very interesting picture of a bird on her bird table on the public group "NORFOLK COUNTRYSIDE PHOTOS" on Facebook and this has certainly created a lot of discussion amongst the birding fraternity! When you first look, you think Rose-coloured Starling, but this is far too big and the tail is far too long. Sue describes the bird as having a white beak and belly and breast is pink, when I asked her. Sue also described it as 'bigger than a Magpie'. Sue also said "Not a magpie, bigger dark head like a jackdaw, but also has colours of a Jay – been visiting last 3 days!!"

Presumably this is an escape from someones aviary, but is it?

I emailed some of the birding elite and received prompt replies, thank you all. Suggestions of "Rufous Treepie", "an aberrant Blue Magpie of some sort" are thoughts so far. I also started an ID thread on Birdforum and you will see the replies and discussion here:

It has also been suggested that it is a Eurasian Magpie that has been kept in captivity and been fed food to make the white feathers turn pink? Or the white feathers either dyed or discoloured? But, this still doesn't explain the white beak! Another suggestion was that this is a Eurasian Magpie with heavy feather loss, but again doesn't explain the white beak, unless of course it is also an albino.

I had spent quite a bit of time trying to help Sue ID this bird and was most annoyed when the 'Admin Team' on this Facebook group deleted my post below. I was really confused, as wanted to add something else and could not understand what had happened. It was deleted very quickly I found out!!! When I asked why it was removed, I was told that 'we do not allow links' and asked me to 'PM them in future'! I replied with "Oh.... I was merely have a conversation with Sue W. about her photo and by showing my blog, letting her know that I was someone genuine, not to 'sell' my blog as I don't need to with 4,000 views daily!" I received no reply to this and I then added "There are links on this post to Birdguides and Wikipedia, so presume they need to be deleted too?". I did not receive a reply to this either and now the Admin lady has disabled any further comments!!!!! Funny that, rules for some, not for others. So some people are allowed to post links and others are not! Anyway, I thought I had lost this post, but found it in another tab on my browser😀 later on, so took a screenshot – here it is Sue if you are reading this:

I posted the 'link' to Birdforum for Sue and her other commenters to see, as Birdforum is a huge worldwide website and knew I would get a good response for them all to see – not now its deleted they won't! Luckily Sue must have seen my post before it got deleted, as she replied that her husband has a Nikon and a Lumix camera and they would try and get a better photo tomorrow if it showed up. Good luck Sue – hope you get another picture!

Several others posters on Sue's ID post were really interested in this fascinating bird and its a pity that no more comments can be made. Maybe it will be opened again tomorrow? If it isn't and you would like more assistance Sue, then please do not hesitate to email me any new pictures you may be lucky enough to obtain to: OR/AND alternatively to the Birdforum link above if you would like any more help to ID your bird. If it was something rare/wild (which I doubt to be honest, more likely to be an odd Magpie or escapee), you can make alot of money out of us birders! There is usually a bucket for birders to put money into when going to see a rarity and this is then usually given to either the reserve where the bird is or to a chosen charity. Also there are many people who simply do not want loads of people on their property, which is totally understandable!

I remember some of my posts being deleted on the Norfolk thread on Birdforum and this was the very reason I started this blog in 2010, so that I could write freely about "Hot Birding and life"!!! So to those complainers at the time, thank you so much!

Looking forward to seeing more of Sue's pictures – also have you heard the bird singing at all Sue?

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