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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:28 pm 
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Jumbo, it looks to me to be a Wahlberg's Eagle.

Points considered:
- not a very strong looking bill
- long, square looking tail
- shape of the head
- general colouration

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:50 pm 
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Wahlbergs eagle. I agree with Johann's points. Also i'd say its a bit too small for a steppe or tawny eagle. A lesser spotted eagle has a more rounded tail and the feathering doesnt match in this case. Also, wahlbergs and booted eagle are commonly confused. But, their habitat preferences differ. The booted having a widerange but prefers karoo or semi desert areas. Wahlbergs are more common up north and booted eagles arent. So i think there is no going wrong with wahlbergs eagle. 8)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:01 pm 
Thank you, Johann and Mark 8) ….I thought as much…..the eye that appears to be light, threw me off a bit….but one can really not go on that with this bad quality. :?
If I look at the great photo Elsa posted in the thread for this bird, it is actually quite clear that mine is also a Wahlberg's Eagle.
@Mark.. yip, you are quite correct….it was definitely not as big as a Steppe or Tawny
Have to say, if one compare the size of the bill on “my” eagle with that of Pumbaa’s eagle….I’m also now quite convinced that Pumbaa’s is not a Wahlberg's…there is quite size difference ….don’t know if I will be able to easily make the same distinction while in the field tho :redface: …..the size of the bird itself will probably help me more


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:24 pm 
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Thanks Francois for alerting me to this brown eagle id discussion.

My opinion:

Pumbaa's pics: Tawny Eagle.
Remember the smallest Tawny is more or less the same size as the biggest Wahlberg's. The bird in the pics is probably a male. Although there is a difference in nostril shape, it is often very difficult to see this feature well enough in the field, or even on photographs. Rather concentrate on the features mentioned by Johann and Francois. With practise, the birds can be easily differentiated just on head and bill shape and size.

Jumbo's pics: Wahlberg's Eagle
Nice comparison to Pumbaa's Tawny. Note the weakish bill and prominent crest.

TG


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:04 am 
Thanks for taking the time to reply, TG 8)

If I look at my photo of the Wahlberg's, I think I will rather confuse it with a Brown Snake Eagle than a Tawny…..which I initialy did, till I saw the yellow cere. The size and shape of the bill and the larger head makes it look more like a Snake Eagle….well, that is my personal opinion.....or am I just confusing myself more now? :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:41 am 
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Jumbo wrote:
Argggg….you birdbrains drive me nuts!! :evil: :lol:
Think I’m going to switch to identifying flies…cannot be more difficult that all these brown jobs. :roll:

Yo yo yo! That's a job and a half!

With Wahlberg's and Brown Snake-eagle the quickest thing is to look at the cere, legs and eyes.

Wahlberg's:
yellow cere
feathered, yellow legs
normal sized, dark brown eyes

vs

Brown Snake-eagle:
grey-white cere
bare, grey-white legs
large, bright yellow eyes.

Easy :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:13 am 
Johann wrote:
Easy :wink:


If you say so :roll: ….I just ticked my first Green-crowned Lam-vlieg :dance:
Thanks Johann, these are good points to remember. 8)

As for the difference between Wahlberg's and Tawny…. will the following about sum up the most important points to look at? (if one cannot see the nostrils):

- The Tawny is a more robust bird (as RP mentioned).
- The Wahlberg's distinctive crest gives its head a more round shape than that of a Tawny.
- The Tawny has a much stronger bill.
- The Tawny has lighter eyes than Wahlberg's


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:47 pm 
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Jumbo wrote:
I’m also now quite convinced that Pumbaa’s is not a Wahlberg's…there is quite size difference ….don’t know if I will be able to easily make the same distinction while in the field tho :redface: …..

To be honest, Jumbo, whenever im in kruger and we see a raptor in the distance im always like 'wahlbergs, wahlbergs, wahlbergs' but to my dismay i picked up that not every kruger raptor is a wahlbergs eagle. :roll: when i see a big brown scary looking bird i become hopeless at making the id and automatically just say wahlbergs but now that ive picked up making raptor ids are indeed tricky, it just make me take closer looks and also realize that wahlbergs eagles arent the only eagles out there and that they make birding a even bigger pleasure, if you know what i mean!


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 Post subject: Eagle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:27 pm 
Jumbo wrote:
If I look at my photo of the Wahlberg's, I think I will rather confuse it with a Brown Snake Eagle than a Tawny…..which I initialy did, till I saw the yellow cere. The size and shape of the bill and the larger head makes it look more like a Snake Eagle….well, that is my personal opinion.....


Don't want to stir the pot, but that bill is too feeble, even for a Wahlberg's! Also the posture and very visible crest don't quite correlate, IMHO!

What about one of the banded snake eagles, also with yellow ceres?

Don't really have pics of juveniles... :?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:51 am 
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Jumbo wrote:
Another one for the experts :D ……I saw this raptor near Punda Maria, middle October 2007.

This was unfortunately quite far off…I have 5 photos, but none are of much help and all of them only got the bird from the back….below, a serious crop …I also used PS to considerably lighten it in order to see its features.

The features I can spot:
Yellow cere
It looks like its eyes are quite light…but due to the quality of the photo, I cannot make a call on the colour of the eyes.
It might have a bit of a crest….but this was taken early in the morning and it might also just be that the bird “puffed” itself up while basking in the sun.
Its tail extends quite a bit past the folded wings.


Hi again here from Zim...

Now that I would say is a Wahlberg's Eagle. The bill is not as heavy as they previous photo of the Tawny/Wahly. Feathers are also uniform dark brown. No funny colors (like white or cream) on the secondaries. :o

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:41 am 
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Jumbo wrote:
...As for the difference between Wahlberg's and Tawny…. will the following about sum up the most important points to look at? (if one cannot see the nostrils):

- The Tawny is a more robust bird (as RP mentioned).
- The Wahlberg's distinctive crest gives its head a more round shape than that of a Tawny.
- The Tawny has a much stronger bill.
- The Tawny has lighter eyes than Wahlberg's

Yes, Tawny's are more robust, bigger, bulkier etc. Not always an easy thing to look for, especially if there's only one bird and nothing to compare it with.

Yes, Tawny's show a more flattened head, if I can call it that. Headshape definitely not the same.

Tawny has got a stronger bill and if you look at the talons you'll notice that they are also bigger/stronger.

The eye thing only shows in adult Tawny's. Juvenile birds have dark eyes and could confuse a bit.

Most of these things are not easy but it gets easier with experience and time in the field.

Just one last thing. I have personally never seen a Wahlberg's Eagle with the colouration shown in Pumbaa's pic. Not in the field, neither in guides or on the net. I've only ever seen Tawny's with this streaky colouration and that was another big reason for my answer.

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 Post subject: Tawny or Wahlbergs?
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:53 pm 
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Tawny Eagle? (The barring on the tail worries me, but its the only wing patern that matches)


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - Raptors
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:28 am 
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Tough to say, but I don't think that it is a Tawny Eagle. The legs have a stove-piped appearance and the under wing pattern also does not match that of a Tawny Eagle.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - Raptors
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:37 am 
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At this stage I will have to correct myself.

Nothing other but Tawny Eagle can match this bird's description at this stage. And the under flight pattern also seems to favor the Tawny's.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - Raptors
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:04 am 
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It will probably be the death of me.

The under wing pattern suits both Tawny and Wahlberg's according to Sasol's illustrations.

The bird's tail is fanned and like you've said, it would seem that there is some barring present on the tail. This puts the favor in an id for Wahlberg's.

The nostril is a further clue. To me it signals more towards Wahlberg's than Tawny.

The stoved piped look of the legs as well as the size of the talons also just don't seem to be a classical look of the Tawny Eagle.

The dark "fingers" to the end of the wing again favors Tawny, but looking at the illustration of the wing of the Wahlberg's in the Sasol guide it would seem that the primaries do look a bit darker than the rest of the wing.

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