Skip to Content

Eagle: Booted

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1539
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread postby bucky » Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:51 am

Location Near Marakele .

Image

I can't figure this 1 out , is there any part you might need a closer up of , or better view of as I have some more photos .

User avatar
deefstes
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:44 am

Greater Kestrel (Falco rupicoloides)

User avatar
Wild about cats
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2437
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Location: SA

Unread postby Wild about cats » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:50 am

I agree, Greater Kestrel
Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2015

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14

Letaba Ladies, 3rd Edition - '14 - '15

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1539
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread postby bucky » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:06 pm

Checked my book after the lead on , and thats the bird all right .

The size put me off but I see they say it is big for a kestrel , I was to busy trying to I.D. it as a juv eagle :wall:.

Another confirmed tick , thanks for the I.D. :thumbs_up:.

User avatar
deefstes
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:03 pm

Lesser Kestrel is noticeably smaller than Greater Kestrel but the picture does not give one a feel for the size of the bird. Lesser Kestrel has a more slender look to it though and I do believe that the picture shows this bird to be a little more robust. Most noticeably the size and shape of the head, the Greater Kestrel has a heavier head than Rock and Lesser Kestrel.

You wouldn't believe me when I tell you on what basis I'm ruling out Lesser Kestrel but I'll tell you anyway. The colour of the talons! Not the feet, the talons. Yes, I don't think this is a feature that will ever be used to seperate other species but the Lesser Kestrel actually have white talons as opposed to the black talons of Rock Kestrel and Greater Kestrel. How weird is that huh?

I should say that, even though I'm reasonably confident of the ID, I can still leave room for this bird NOT being Greater Kestrel and here are my reasons:

1. One of the key features to look for in GK is the vertical barring on the chest contrasting with horizontal barring on the belly. This bird shows no barring on the belly whatsoever. This could be indicative of a subadult bird.
2. If this was a juvenile, the cere should have been greyish and this bird's cere is clearly yellow. Another reason why I think it is subadult but not juvenile.
3. That dark blotch around the eye bothers me.

It would be interesting to note the colour of the eye, as a white iris would clinch GK. This bugger however has its nictitating membrane (third eye-lid) closed so one cannot make out the colour of the iris.

If you have more pics, bucky, do post. It may be interesting just to make sure about this ID.

User avatar
deefstes
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:08 pm

O yes, another thing I forgot to point out is the absence of a black subterminal band in the undertail - a feature which bth Lesser Kestrel and Rock Kestrel share in all plumages.

User avatar
Snoobab
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:28 pm
Location: JHB

Unread postby Snoobab » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:15 pm

Thanks deefstes.
Would be interesting to see more pics.

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1539
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread postby bucky » Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:08 pm

Ok here goes , a heavy crop onto the bird only .
Seems as if its eyes were closed most of the time , maybe because this was taken in a bit of a downpour .
It was in a tree next to a dam , I don't know if this is relevant .

Image

User avatar
deefstes
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:17 pm

White iris. Greater Kestrel, signed sealed delivered.

User avatar
francoisd
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1937
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

Unread postby francoisd » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:54 pm

I would like to redirect your attention to the photo Bucky posted
Image
A birding friend of mine emailed me and said he visited the site and saw that one of the raptors were identified incorrectly and he pointed me to the bird Bucky posted.

According to him the bird is the pale form of the Booted Eagle.

I only have SASOL at work with me and my raptor book with photos is at home so I cannot look at other illustrations. When I looked at the photo of Bucky I was also not entirely convinced but raptors are large LBJs to me.

In SASOL I could not see the striped pattern on the chest so queried Tertius about that and also asked him to put to paper his reasons for the identification.

As Tertius is not a member of the Forum he asked me to post his reply. I’ll try my best at translating his Afrikaans message:
I have also not had a change yet to look at the illustration of Booted Eagle in SASOL but know for sure that the vertical stripes on the chest can vary from nearly absent/few to many. If SASOL shows Booted Eagle without stripes it is only one of the possible variations. Booted Eagles also have a light coloured eye, but it is more a yellowish-brown and not as white as that of adult Greater Kestrel. Remember that the eyes of a juvenile Greater Kestrel is not as white as that of the adult, and are usually also yellowish-brown


The general jizz of the bird in the photo is also definitely that of an eagle and not a falcon.
Falcons (Genus: Falco) all have a "tooth" on the cutting edge of the upper mandible, which the bird in the photo does not show. If you look closely to the feather pattern and the colour of the chest and wings and then compare it to that of a Greater Kestrel you will see that it is totally different. The general "feathering" of a Greater Kestrel can be a very dull red-brown colour but the black patterns on the individual feathers are very prominent. The Greater Kestrel also has slight horizontal stripes on the stomach, something which is never present in Booted Eagle

Tertius


OK you raptor lovers. We have a new "cat amongst the pigeons" as far as the ID of this bird is concerned

I have subsequently found an illustration that shows a pale form with more striping on the chest, and looks very much like the bird in Bucky's photo.
"The measure of life is not its duration but its donation." - Peter Marshall
www.flickr.com/groups/birdssa

User avatar
deefstes
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:00 pm

WOW! I was spectacularly wrong once again.

User avatar
francoisd
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1937
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

Unread postby francoisd » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:17 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Does that mean you concur with Tertius' ID?
"The measure of life is not its duration but its donation." - Peter Marshall

www.flickr.com/groups/birdssa

User avatar
deefstes
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:32 pm

francoisd wrote::lol: :lol: :lol:
Does that mean you concur with Tertius' ID?


Absolutely.

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1539
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread postby bucky » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:05 pm

Ill go along with whatever these okes say :P

User avatar
wanderw
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1081
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:34 pm
Location: Heart - Grootkolk, Soul - KTP, Body - far too far south most of the time!

Eagle: Booted

Unread postby wanderw » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 pm

I believe that I am allowed to post these pics even though they weren't taken in a SAN park. The bird does, however, occur in SAN parks.

Taken 300m away from my garden in Cape Town:
Image
Image
Image


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”