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A really painful twitch!

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Albert
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A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Albert » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:32 am

Late yesterday afternoon, my SO and I heard a strange noise, an almost metallic thump. Now we have quite large sliding doors/windows facing our back garden, and on occasion we have had birds mistaking this for a cave entrance :( , but this was a little different. Anyhow, about 30 seconds later my two dogs (2 boxers) start barking hysterically. I rush outside, and there, on my stoep is a small raptor, dark on the back and heavily speckled creamy white underneath. Clearly stunned and with a damaged wing. Minor chaos ensued as we try to get the dogs away from the bird and to see if we can help. Eventually the bird scrambles to our back wall and perches on top. We call the folks at Spier estate (Eagle Experience) as I know they will rescue raptors. Too late for them to come and collect, but if possible, could we put the bird in a cardboard box and bring it to them this morning. Yeah. Right.
By this time the bird is on my neighbours' pigeon cage. The pigeons are not happy. I am starting to think this is not going to end well. The bird then decides to get back into my garden, just as my SO arrives with a box, and 2 boxers also arrive. This is when I had a minor brain cramp. Let me say that even a small raptor, damaged wing or not, should not be tackled with bare hands. We ended up with my left hand holding the bird across the back, and both the birds talons firmly embedded in my right hand's index and middle fingers. :redface: :wall: :redface:
I can report that attempts to pull your fingers free from the talons results in the pressure being applied increasing quite remarkably!
Somehow I eventually pulled my hand free and the bird was in the box. Right now, as I type, the bird is on it's way to Spier.
You will note that I have not given an ID. I suspect a juvenile Little Sparrowhawk (first thought it was a juvy Black Sparrowhawk, but the size, coloration and lack of yellow cere seems to rule that out, as it does for a juvenile African Goshawk). Doubtlessly I will get an ID from my SO later this a.m!
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Albert
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Albert » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:47 am

Update:
The bird is fine. Will be held at Spier for a day or two and then released :D

And I have no idea what I talk about when it comes to identifying juvenile raptors. It is apparently a female juvenile African Goshawk :redface:
Last edited by Albert on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby naomi c » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:05 am

What an experience - always nice to hear there are people who still care!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

The bird is fine but what about your hand? :D

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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby JeanniR » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:06 am

Glad the raptor is okay :gflower:

Really an interesting experience :clap:
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Bush Baptist
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:38 am

Sheesh Albert, couldn't you even get a photo with your free hand while its talons were embedded in your fingers! :naughty:

You need some Steve Irwin training.

"It's got lovely sharp claws" he used to say with his blood dripping down his arm as the reptile hung on!

BTW, nice story. Hope the captive & captor both recover physically and mentally. :thumbs_up:
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:41 am

Forgot to ask.

Is it a lifer?
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Albert
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Albert » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:15 am

Bush Baptist wrote:Forgot to ask.

Is it a lifer?


Unfortunately not! And regarding the previous comment regarding the photograph...watch this space.
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arks
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby arks » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:24 pm

Glad to hear that you and the raptor will both recover :thumbs_up: Look forward to the photo(s)!
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby hilda » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:43 am

I'm so glad for the happy ending! Thank you for saving the young African Goshawk Albert! :dance: :dance:
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:44 am

Albert... :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: I am pleased that als well that ends well... and I hope that your hand is feeling better. Well done on the painful rescue.. as much as I love birds, I am not sure that I would have managed.
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Hugh » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:50 am

Well done Albert and SO .. keep us updated
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Albert
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Albert » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:12 am

This morning just after sunrise I heard a familiar repetitive "quick" "quick" call from somewhere in my back garden. Went outside and spotted an African Goshawk in the top of a large conifer (favourite perch for all manner of birds); appeared to be similar to the juvenile that inflicted the gashes to my fingers last week.
Shortly after spotting me the bird flew off.

The fanciful part of me would have it that this was the same bird... :lol: :lol:

Who knows? :hmz:
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby hilda » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:25 pm

Maybe it was the same bird who came to say thank you for saving him! :dance: :dance:
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Re: A really painful twitch!

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:32 pm

:thumbs_up:
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