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Raptor ID - Interesting discussions

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Sawubona
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Raptor ID - Interesting discussions

Unread postby Sawubona » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:44 am

Ok,

I never even looked at birds, always the Big 5. Since I got a new camera in December, I started taken photo's of birds and looking for them.

I have seen this one in KNP.

Image
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Elephants Back Pack Trail - 2009
Mphongolo Back Pack Trail - 2011

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DotDan
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby DotDan » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:59 am

A Brown Snake eagle?

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wildtuinman
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:03 pm

Snake Eagles have a yellow iris, 100% correct. They also have big round heads and shortish tails.

The bird in this photo also seems to have some sort of bare patch of skin between the bill and the eye.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:05 pm

Where is your other photo Sawubona? :lol:

In the meantime, which other raptors have a yellow iris?

Female European Honey-Buzzard?
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:10 pm

Osprey?
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JoelR
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby JoelR » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:00 am

WTM, you're more clued up on raptors than me but this time I think I disagree (with European Honey-Buzzard). The bulky shape and tail pattern seem all wrong for it and they also seem wrong for any type of harrier.

My vote would go to juvenile Brown Snake-Eagle. The faint, broad bands on the tail, the shape of the head, the yellow eye all seem right. My field guides don't show this form but Roberts field guide says for the BSE juv: "...highly variable, some flecked white above, others mottled white below; tail barred." A juvenile Black-chested Snake-Eagle should have a more rufous breast.

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby JenB » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:10 am

I think it might be Juvenile Black-chested Snake-eagle because of the line across it's breast?
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Imax » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:12 am

the yellow eye and all black bill extending to right under the eye looks like a European Honey Buzzard .

The spots on the chest is a bit too "erratic" but it could jsut be that the feathers are ruffled, but the even bands on the tail is also not right to me for the buzzard, to wide and even, where the buzzard have two narrow bands at the base and a thick one at the end.

The bit of a crest on the head and a very blotchy photo in Sasols bird of prey also has me swayed more to the Brown Snake Eagle

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:26 am

Ok, now that I have everyone thinking...

The blotchy breast looks very much like that of European Honey-Buzzard.
The tail, unfortunately got cut off in the photo taking process. It looks long, but one can't say for sure.

The main point to take into consideration is that the head looks rather big which will lean more towards a snake eagle. A Honey-Buzzard's head looks more dove-like.

I was hoping that Sawubona had another picture of this bird, but instead he had another picture of a Imm Bateleur. :lol:
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Sawubona
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Sawubona » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:33 am

WTM, I do have more.

Here is another, they are not good, sorry.

Image
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Elephants Back Pack Trail - 2009
Mphongolo Back Pack Trail - 2011

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:38 am

Well there we go now! :lol: :lol:

I think JoelR got it. :wink:
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DotDan
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby DotDan » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:40 am

wildtuinman wrote:The main point to take into consideration is that the head looks rather big which will lean more towards a snake eagle. A Honey-Buzzard's head looks more dove-like.


Ok I think I am going to go with Juvenile Brown Snake eagle :hmz:

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby deefstes » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:52 am

I didn't know at what point to chime in as I didn't want to spoil it if this was meant to be dragged out to give more people an opportunity to ID the bird. Hopefully by now, everyone who's interested will have had a chance though.

I believe DotDan got it right within 3 posts of the original picture. The bare legs immediately rules out any of the true eagles and the yellow iris further strengthens the case for a Snake Eagle.

WTM alludes to a patch of bare skin between the eye and the bill but I can't make this out. I'm not sure if that is meant to suggest juvenile Bateleur or African Harrier-Hawk but the longer tail with the barring and the bright yellow eye rules Bateleur out while the big head and grey cere rules out the latter.

Some other contenders have been mentioned but the undertail pattern, shape of bill, shape of head and grey legs are totally wrong for European Honey Buzzard. Apart from the overall shape of the bird just being all wrong for a Harrier, the white legs and shape of bill rules that out conclusively as well. In fact, the grey legs rules out just about anything other than Snake Eagle.

Having established that it's a Snake-Eagle we can immediately rule out the Banded Snake-Eagles on distribution but also because of the very yellow iris, grey cere, length of tail and undertail pattern.

Now, distinguishing between juvenile Brown Snake-Eagle and juvenile Black -chested Snake-Eagle is not quite as straight forward as we'd like it to be but I would say that, based on the brown (not rufous) plumage and the undertail pattern (dark bars broader than light bars), I'd go with juvenile Brown Snake-Eagle.

having said that, I can't rule out juvenile Black-chested Snake-Eagle altogether as the breast does seem to show a horizontal demarcation as JenB pointed out and the flight feathers appear to be black. Another angle on the bird might cast more light on the back, the tail tip and the remiges which would probably clinch the ID.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby deefstes » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:57 am

Why is it that sometimes the forum informs me that more posts have been made while I was typing mine and at other times it doesn't? It's a bit frustrating having typed up a leeenghty post only to see that more posts have been made since, meaning that mine isn't all that meaningful anymore - even moreso when the subsequent posts makes me revise my opinion :D

At any rate, the second pic does seem to show a broad white terminal band on the tail and black remiges so I would go with Black-chested Snake-Eagle juvenile.
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Sawubona
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Sawubona » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:05 am

Some more:

Image

Image

Image
Done:
Elephants Back Pack Trail - 2009
Mphongolo Back Pack Trail - 2011


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