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Harrier, Pallid

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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jacliz
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Harrier, Pallid

Unread postby jacliz » Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:22 pm

Please help ID this bird. At first I thought it was a Montagu's Harrier, but now think maybe it is a Pallid Harrier? Seen near Sweni Hide in February. Thanks.
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Haplo
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Haplo » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:56 pm

Jacliz,

Good evening.
I really seem to be on a roll here, and until one of the other really practised folks, (Imax, Jol, Rusty.... where are you guys? Out having a fun Easter weekend I hope) show up, I am your first, last, and only line of defence!
My five cents worth....
Your Beautiful bird - I would think that Motagu's or Pallid Harrier is a bit off the mark, the light markings around the eyes (around the eye rim that is) typical to those two are lacking on your bird. The Montagu Harrier also has long wings reaching the tip of the tail, definitely not the case in your bird, ruling out the Montagu, as you suspected. But the white around the eyes rules out the Pallid Harrier as well, everything else being in place, I would recommend looking at the Juvenile African Marsh Harrier as an alternative, until the experts get here.
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Haplo
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Haplo » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:01 pm

The African Marsh Harrier may have been a bit out of Habitat at Sweni?
Still think it is pretty much what you got though.
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Yolandé Oelsen
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:44 am

Jacliz, seeing as all the experts are away for the weekend, my guess on your bird is juv pallid harrier because of the prominent markings around the eye??
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jacliz
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby jacliz » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:00 pm

Thanks Haplo, for your thoughts on my bird.

Thanks also, Yolande. I am now convinced it's a Pallid Harrier, especially after looking in Newman's. It looks exactly like the picture and the text mentions the white ruff collar, which is clearly visible on my bird. Also this bird has a white rump (visible in another photo not posted), so I'm going to label it unless someone says otherwise! :)
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Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby deefstes » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:13 am

I see there has been a few birds that has not been ID'ed yet. Pretty challenging ones, some of them.

jacliz wrote:Please help ID this bird. At first I thought it was a Montagu's Harrier, but now think maybe it is a Pallid Harrier? Seen near Sweni Hide in February. Thanks.
Image

Yup, you got Pallid Harrier right. These birds, and especially the females and juveniles, can be extremely difficult to identify. The features to look for are variable and can overlap between species. Some field guides will go as far as saying that the females are not separable in the field!

Have a look at this article on ZestForBirds for probably the best text you will find on seperating these two species.

You are fortunate though that your bird shows the Pallid Harrier features fairly well:
1. Very obvious white collar
2. Narrow white supercilium not meeting the narrow white cheek line
3. Large dark ear covert patch
4. Primary tips not projecting quite as far as the tip of the tail. This is a useful feature, albeit subtle and often obscure. Your bird has its tail tilted down but the relative lenghts seem to be apparent though.

I'm having a hard time aging this bird though but I would think that it's a first calendar year juvenile towards the end of its moult cycle, having moulted into most of its 2nd calendar year plumage. In other words, probably around 10 months of age.
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jacliz
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby jacliz » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 pm

Many thanks deefstes, for your very informative reply. Much appreciated. Being pretty new to this I need all the help I can get! I am finding this forum fascinating and learning a lot from it. :)
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby katydownunder » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:57 pm

Ok, after our most recent trip to the Kalahari i need help with two ID's...

First one seen at the Grootkolk waterhole, my guess would be Pallid Harrier

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Last edited by katydownunder on Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Ladybirder » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:45 pm

1 I also think its a Pallid Harrier

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby MattAxel » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:41 pm

I'm overseas at the moment and don't have any SA books with me at the moment, but your first one looks like a juv Montagu's Harrier. Juv Pallid should have barring on the primaries.

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby sandeep » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:18 pm

And this one please. Again near Lower Sabie in Feb

Image

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:54 pm

Looks like a juvenile in morph. But juvenile what, I am not too sure.
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby anne-marie » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:47 pm

not a lot of rapaces has red legs
could be a sub-adult PCG :hmz: but no PCG in Kruger... maybe Dark Chanting Goshawk
sorry I know "only" Pale CG :redface:



also Gabar Goshawk has red legs
and Lizard Buzzard too... but grey feathers
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby sandeep » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:29 am

Here is another pic of the same bird. Possibly Gabar Goshawk.... :hmz:

Image

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby MattAxel » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:27 pm

The one in flight is a Pallid Harrier. The first thing to do when IDing 'ring-tail' Harriers is to age the bird. An adult female and a sub-adult will have some degree of streaking underneath, and this bird has minimal streaking underneath making it a juvenile, maybe starting to slightly go into sub-adult plumage. To Differentiate juvenile Montagu's and Pallid in flight, you should look at the primaries. Juvenile Montagu's has little to no barring on the primaries, and no black tips to the wings. This bird does have some barring on the primaries and also very black tips, which means it must be a juvenile Pallid Harrier.


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