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Harrier-hawk, African (Gymnogene)

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Lizet Grobbelaar
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:46 pm

Tony T,
Regarding your first pic. I've played around with the showed areas and this is the result.(hope you don't mind!)
Image

The underwing pattern of this bird doesn't look like typical Booted Eagle.
In my opinion the "landing lights" are white patches on the leading edge of the wing root, extending onto the shoulder and shouldn't be this visible from directly below. I think the light is playing tricks.

If we ignore the white "landing lights" this looks more like a Juv. African Harrier Hawk. It has a smallish head, long tail although we can't see barring on the tail, streaked rufous/brown underparts and the obvious barring on the underwings certainly fits in with AHH rather than BE, but I am not sure about their status in Western Cape? :huh:

Cheers
LG

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:18 pm

Both are here in the Western Cape. I was at Paarl bird sanctuary with Wanderw & Markw and we all saw an AHH. BE are also found on the wine farms.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Tony T
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Tony T » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:44 pm

@Lizet - Don't mind you processing my photo.
I attach another taken from a slightly different angle -not so clear but maybe you could do the same to this one.

Image

Thanks
KTP- 23/4/15 to 26/4/15 - Mata Mata
27/4/14 to 30/4/15 - Nossob
1/5/15 to 4/5/15 - Gharagab
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Johann » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:11 am

Lizet Grobbelaar wrote:The underwing pattern of this bird doesn't look like typical Booted Eagle.
In my opinion the "landing lights" are white patches on the leading edge of the wing root, extending onto the shoulder and shouldn't be this visible from directly below. I think the light is playing tricks.

If we ignore the white "landing lights" this looks more like a Juv. African Harrier Hawk. It has a smallish head, long tail although we can't see barring on the tail, streaked rufous/brown underparts and the obvious barring on the underwings certainly fits in with AHH rather than BE, but I am not sure about their status in Western Cape?


I agree with Lizet that it doesn't look 100% right for Booted Eagle when I look at it a second time. Don't have references here with me so please excuse my ramblings.
Tail seems a bit long for what I can remember of Booted. Barring is also a concern.
I don't however think that light is playing a trick. To have the same sized white patches on different photos with different angles is a bit too much of a coincidence for me. I saw a Booted in Kruger in January this year. It was circling above us for some time about 20m above our heads and one could clearly see the white shoulders.
I did remember this morning though that Booted is not the only one to show the white, juvenile Ayres's Hawk-Eagle for instance also comes to mind (way out of range of course for this).
So all in all, I think if we are ignoring the white patches I would go with Lizet's explanation and call on juv African Harrier-Hawk.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby JOL » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:25 am

After having a second look at Tony's first raptor , I feel absolutely confident that this is no booted eagle. Lizet's suggestion that it is an african harrier-hawk sounds much better to me , and I won't even start to discuss the finer details unless someone disagrees with that call. In my mind , the only other alternative is the highly variable honey buzzard which have a jizz very similar to this bird - I guess the time and place isn't right for that species though?

As a Northern European birder , I'm a bit envious on your wide variety of birds of prey. However , when it comes to books on that subject , we are certainly in a much better shape up here if Helms "Raptors of the World" is the best you've got! Someone should sit down and make a comprehensive raptor guide to Africa south of the Sahara...!

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby JOL » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:31 am

Lizet Grobbelaar wrote:Tony T,

If we ignore the white "landing lights" this looks more like a Juv. African Harrier Hawk. It has a smallish head, long tail although we can't see barring on the tail, streaked rufous/brown underparts and the obvious barring on the underwings certainly fits in with AHH rather than BE, but I am not sure about their status in Western Cape? :huh:

Cheers
LG



PS: I actually think the baring on the tail is fairly easy to see on the picture you doctored , Lizet , and it fits AHH nicely...

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Lizet Grobbelaar
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:17 am

Johann!
You are right, with the second pic we can say that the white patches are definitely there, always easier if we have more angles Thanks Tony!

I agree with Johann and that was my second option last night - Ayres, as the white patches and underwing barring fits, but it seems so unlikely and I don't think they have been recorded that far south, and we don't know what time of the year it was taken, so I will consult one of my friends in Cape town to have a look at the pics and let you know.

Cheers
LG

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Lizet Grobbelaar
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:19 pm

Hi Tony,

My friend Trevor from Cape Town agrees that it looks like a African Harrier Hawk, and the white "landing lights" could be just that this bird is in moult and the white is showing through that.. But as you know we can't say it's for sure it, as the quality is too bad.

Lizet

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Tony T » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:50 pm

Hi Lizet,
Wow thanks for all the work you put into this, much appreciated.
So the consensus is that it is a African Harrier Hawk (Gymnogene), photos permitting?
Earlier I gave the thread a list of the raptors that I know of in the area. This particular area is a popular place for Black Harriers and maybe African Marsh Harrier. Is it not perhaps a juvenile of one of these two?
KTP- 23/4/15 to 26/4/15 - Mata Mata
27/4/14 to 30/4/15 - Nossob
1/5/15 to 4/5/15 - Gharagab
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby JOL » Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:35 pm

I think the jizz is wrong for any of the circus-harriers. The tail is not nearly long and slender enough , the wings (especially the "hand") are to broad , and the wing formula (number and shape of "free" primaries) are wrong too. Furthermore african marsh harrier shows much less well marked remiges (flight feathers) and black harrier has a much more well marked tail , so I think they can both safely be discarded.
On the other hand , I can't find a single reason why this couldn't be an african harrier-hawk , and in my opinion that's exactly what it is... - though ayre's hawk eagle was actually a pretty good contender as well.

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby normana53 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:02 am

We saw this raptor a few km south of Skukuza on 25 September, not sure but thought it might be a subadult Gymogene - help?

Image


Image
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Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby JOL » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:15 pm

normana53 wrote:We saw this raptor a few km south of Skukuza on 25 September, not sure but thought it might be a subadult Gymogene - help?


Hi Normana53 ,

Right on! Your bird is indeed a young African harrier hawk aka. gymnogene.

Cheers
Jon

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Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby michaelpr » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:57 pm

Hi, I took these photo's in Kruger. What are their names and are any of them 'rare'?
Image

Image

Thanks,
Michael

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Barcud » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:15 pm

Hi Michael,

From these pics, I think the first one is an imm. Martial Eagle, seen regularly in Kruger.

Barcud

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby smithi » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:34 am

1. imm. Martial Eagle
2. Gymnogene

Nice :D


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