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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:11 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Schoenmakerskop (near Port Elizabeth)
cybeR@NGER wrote:
The name has been changed to African Harrier-Hawk.
The flushed red facial skin, which is normally yellow, indicates breeding display.
Excellent capture !

According to my books, the exposed facial area flushes when excited (and not necessary sexual excitement!). I've never seen this myself and I have seen quite a lot of Gymnogenes, including when in what I would think would be exciting situations such as feeding from nests while being mobbed by the nestlings parents, so I think you were quite fortunate to witness this.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:43 pm 
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Was fortunate to see a pair mating not far from Malelane gate last Sunday.
They were too far away for a decent pic but if you zoom in you can definately see the blushing on their faces.
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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:46 am 
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Saw this one on the Mananga trail :D
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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:31 am 
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Seen outside Lower Sabie camp on the 19th April 07. I have a tentative ID as a juvenile Gymnogene, but the face is not bare...so, what is it then?:popcorn:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:39 am 
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Like I've said Matt, The last pic has the behaviour of Gymnogene. Only other bird I can see in being is a juv. harrier of some sort... :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:53 am 
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You are on-the-nose with the ID, matthew. Beautiful shots of a juvinile!

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 11:36 am 
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Location: Gauties .
Indeed great shots .
Looks like classic behavior of a gymnogene to me also , and the coloration matches that of the juvenile very nicely .
I think you are mistaking the lines/folds in the skin under the eyes for hair .


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:21 pm 
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Juvenile seen near Nkumbe lookout.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:32 am 
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seen on the S118, raiding a nest.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:00 am 
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Seen near Tshokwane in our July 2006 trip. He/she was perched quietly in a dead tree so reason for the blush? :?
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This is also to verify that I do know what gymnogenes look like, verification needed for my post on garden birds thread.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:55 am 
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Wow wanderw, I think the red face is rare, like the crimson boubou with yellow chest, but I might be mistaken. What do the experts say, snoobab, johan, & the others?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:43 pm 
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Various reasons can cause the facial skin of African Harrier-hawk (Gymnogene) to turn red. I've only seen it twice. Once in a bird close to Talamati which showed the "red face" while flying towards a tree and kept the red colouration while perched in the tree with no other birds around. The second time was a bird in Stellenbosch that was mobbed by a Pied Crow.

From internet sources it seems that the "blushing" might occur when the bird is excited, during social- or sexual intercourse, general display during breeding (1). It may also turn red in the heat of the day (2) a statement supported by the following abstract from a scientific paper:

Species with flushing colours are few but phylogenetically diverse, as they belong to 12 different avian orders and at least 20 families. The majority are dark-coloured, large-sized species living in hot environments that may have originally evolved highly vascularised skin patches for thermoregulation. Bird behaviour as well as sex and age differences within species suggest that a signalling system for condition or status based on haemoglobin may have been super-imposed to the physiological process of heat dissipation. (3)

It does however seem that "blushing" of yellow facial skin to a red or pink is usually connected with reproductive activities such as copulation and prey exchange.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:07 pm 
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Spotted on the H1-3 on the 11/7/07

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Spotted on the road towards the Hippo pools 12/7/07

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:00 am 
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Saw this one just after the duke dam turn off on the s28......

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:08 am 
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Had 2 different sightings at Crook's Corner on Sunday (23/09/2007)

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