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A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Entry: Identifying British Birds - Part 1 - A87916422
Author: Paigetheoracle - U15002949

This is Part I of the series by Paigetheoracle.

Keep calm and carry on.


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 2

SashaQ - happysad

This is a great idea for an Entry smiley - ok

You cover an excellent range of birds, but the structure of the Entry puzzled me a bit - sometimes you specify a criterion eg appearance, but don't give any examples, and then other times you specify something eg flocking together and give examples. Better to give examples for each criterion, I think smiley - ok

I'm doing more birdwatching these days and I learned just this year that juvenile blue tits are quite yellow smiley - biggrinsmiley - tit so that is good that you mention them in this Entry smiley - ok

"Owls are also birds of prey but seen mostly at night, except for the Little Owl which is the smallest of its kind and as its name suggests hunts during the day."

The Short-Eared Owl also hunts during the day. The Little Owl's name suggests it is the smallest of its kind, rather than that it hunts in the day?


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 3

Paigetheoracle

It does? Well I didn't know that as I have never seen one and I was going with other people's information on the birds, including The RSPB's site.

Thanks for pointing out The Little Owl error as its name doesn't suggest anything but its size. This was one of the last entries I wrote in this subject as I am not that knowledgeable (or even that interested in Birds of Prey), so was both bored and tired after four and a half thousand words.

Got an excellent sighting of young Blue Tits in my brother's garden, when I visited him in Norwich, which led me to write about them in the guide. I am sure I have made other mistakes but the idea was to get other people interested in the subject, mostly

My main criteria was appearance but sometimes I got side-tracked by behaviour and occasionally nesting habits. After three solid days of writing this stuff up, never mind collating the information in the first place, I can't even stand the sight of a cooked chicken.


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 4

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Hi smiley - smiley

I don't know a lot about birds, especially British ones, so I will jsut go through that Entry from an outsider's perspective and will probably ask the questions a reader may ask who is new to the topic.

As I usually do in PR I will just go through this Entry paragraph after paragraph and say whatever comes to my mind. Please don't be put off if it's a lot of things.smiley - winkeye

1st paragraph:
It is generally not good in an Entry to say 'I', so you should rewrite to say for instance 'This entry shall not be including all the bird species of The British Isles but the more common ones.'

'Female blackbirds are brown but the same size as the males.'
Don't they also have different colors of beaks?


'The members of the Crow family (Corvids) are easier to distinguish from one another through their various characteristics, than others say Wagtails – specifically Grey and Yellow Wagtails, so I shall start with them'
Something seems wrong with this sentence, like you re-wrote it and something went missing?

'There bodies, while black all over again have white nostril flares..' their
'Their is a variation of the former, called the Hooded Crow...' there

'Racing pigeons are actually the domesticated form of these and are not pigeons at all.'
I'm curious, what are they?

On quail birds: I think they make a quite distinctive sound when they fly as a flock.

You say in the first paragraph that birds are also distinguishable by their nests and eggs but only mention them in the case of the pheasants. Is there really not more to say about them? (if you say yes, that's fine)

Generally I think you should add headers to different topics and maybe think of a more 'creative' as well as meaningful title for the whole Entry.

Also I think this Entry could use some kind of concluding paragraph.
smiley - smiley

All in all very well done I think.smiley - cheers


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 5

Paigetheoracle

One bird I did miss out because it didn't really fit into a category I covered was the common Plover, also known as the Peewit because of the sound of its call and the Lapwing, through its habit of pretending to have a broken wing, in order to lure predators away from its nest or young (ground nesting bird)


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 6

Paigetheoracle

I hadn't really noticed the difference in beak colours in Blackbirds and was trying to point out the more obvious features of all the birds included. As for the conclusion, yes it is missing but it started off as one entry of 4,600 words, hence me splitting it into three segments. Racing pigeons are misnamed and are really doves. The only UK pigeon is the Wood Pigeon. On another post, covering Robert Aickman, again I made the mistake of saying I, so will need to put that right here as well.


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 7

Paigetheoracle

With regards to the title, I was trying to make it as inclusive and factual as possible.

I didn't mention eggs and nests in detail deliberately. This is because I didn't want to encourage investigation of these during the breeding season as it is not good to disturb the birds or their young. Also people collect eggs and some birds have become quite rare because of this depredation.


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 8

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Your point about eggs and nests is good. smiley - smiley Maybe you should even mention that in your Entry at the point where you tell about the different eggs etc Tell people to keep their hands off eggs and nests. Maybe also what to do if they find a young bird on the ground, if you like.

With the title I mean for instance your 3rd Entry in the series is about sea/water birds, so maybe that should be in the title and if anyone tries to identify a water bird they can go straight to that Entry and not search in the other two.

Of course one Entry of 4600 words would have been far too long for anyone to read, so it was a very good idea to split it up. Still every single Entry should have some kind of introduction and 'conclusion'. Take the 3rd Entry as an example again: you could start out with a few general sentences about water birds. FOr instance they live at the coast, at lakes, rivers, eat fish, insects above the water... whatever comes to your mind. Just some kind of introduction. In a conclusion you could probably tell us about different environments that have to be protectd so future generations can also see all these different birds. Maybe also something completely different, it's your choice.


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 9

Dmitri Gheorgheni

I agree with Tavaron - great ideas for making this series really solid. smiley - smiley

If you'd like to browse for ideas on how to write up wildlife, may I recommend Willem's archive at A53937714 ? His list contains lots of birds.


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 10

SashaQ - happysad

I had a look at your three Entries as a whole and can see you have done a huge amount to bring information together smiley - applausesmiley - biggrin

I agree with Tavaron and Dmitri - I think the structure of the Entries could be tightened up. I like your introduction to this Entry, where you describe the items that can be considered in order to identify a bird that is in front of you, but then the series would benefit from Headers to help the reader to find specific information.

If you add in headers, then that will help you to arrange your material in the clearest way, too smiley - ok Eg river and water birds would perhaps fit more neatly together than river and woodland, and this Entry is an unusual mix of birds of prey and game birds.

smiley - ok


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 11

Paigetheoracle

I am hoping to get back to this on Monday, when my wife takes the dog to the beach and later on goes to her yoga classes. Up to now too much going on in extended family and local neighbourhood (next door is building a shed or more accurately a very big hut, which includes banging, drilling and the smell of bitumen for the roof, to prepare it for the felt covering; this may not be the worst of it as they have a hot tub, three kids and electricity running into the structure - noise carried into the early hours seems to be beckoning as they are party people already).smiley - wah


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 12

Paigetheoracle

If I put all the information about eggs and nest sites, it would need a separate entry of its own. For instance sites can vary from tree tops to bushes, on the ground in fields and on the shoreline, on cliffs, in burrows, in holes in trees, in old buildings, on buildings. Then there's shape (flat, conical, cup) and materials (mud, sticks, straw, moss, feathers, grass. Not to mention amount of eggs in a clutch, shape, size and colour.

Rooks nest in large, noisy colonies so you would not need to climb a tree to be certain what nest it was. Likewise House Martins build on the gable end of houses and can be seen flitting back and forth, when creating their mud platforms or when feeding their young but other nest sites will be less obvious as they may be well hidden or not obvious as nests (as that hole in a tree inhabited? Is that crows nest this years or lasts?).

All in all, my guide is about identifying birds by appearance mostly and distinguishing one species from another. Where I have mentioned behaviour, nesting or anything else, it is because it is a common trait in most cases or will help identity by pointing to another characteristic, to distinguish one bird from another, hopefully


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 13

Paigetheoracle

SashaQ, I mixed predatory birds with carrion feeders (crows) and game birds because they are likely to be seen together in the same areas of farm and shooting areas - hence the newly added summary, which I hope to post today or tomorrow (edited part one to my satisfaction and will now work on parts two and three, pasting the results up tomorrow or Wednesday, depending upon when I get everything finished: My method is to get up the pages of criticism, plus my original document, highlight the areas needing fixing, then get the entries adjusted from these notes).


A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

Post 14

h2g2 Guide Editors

We see you did an update to this Entry. The structure is much improved - well done smiley - ok


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A87916422 - Identifying British Birds - Part 1

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