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By David Wilson Barker

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The birds in a single population will vary by 5–10%; subspecific differences may increase this to 15% or more. Again like human beings, most raptors additionally show sexual dimorphism, for some species and genera very marked, but with the females the larger. Length, to the end of the tail, is taken either from the tip of the bill or from the top of the head. Sometimes this varies according to the bird family. Thus, long-beaked waterbirds always include the bill, while owls usually and raptors often are measured from the top of the head, particularly when museum skins are made up without the bill pointing forwards.

Descriptive terms: dimensions. wing-patch/ panel/band primary-wedge wingwindow carpal arc carpal patch patagial mark subterminal band Pointed Rounded tip/terminal band Paddle-shaped barring Narrow-handed banding Rectangular Fig. 7. Descriptive terms: wing shapes, and wing and tail markings. 29 Supraorbital ridge Lore Gape Cere Nostril Culmen Supercilium (eyebrow) Eye-stripe Crest Iris Pupil Orbital ring Facial disc Facial ruff Upper mandible Lower mandible Moustachial stripe Moustache Submoustachial stripe Malar stripe Median (or mesial) throat-stripe Ear Comb Caruncle Lappet Wattle Ruff Fig.

The atypical frog/reptile-eating accipiters are less dimorphic than the bird-eaters. Old World vultures that take some living prey are more dimorphic than those that live on carrion alone. As a further specific example of mixed diet, the Palmnut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis might be ­expected, as the only primarily vegetarian raptor, to show virtually no sexual size dimorphism, but males are actually slightly smaller (92%) and a part of the prey consists of fish, amphibians, and crabs and other i­nvertebrates.

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A manual of elementary seamanship by David Wilson Barker


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