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Eagle, Tawny

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
wingman
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby wingman » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:26 pm

Image

Seen between Crocodile bridge and LS on the river road.

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Cherries
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Cherries » Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:16 pm

Hi

This was on the main road to Skuks. We wanted to sit and watch but the car behind was itching to get passed!

Image

Image

Hope you can help with an ID?

Thank you so much
Jackie

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Imberbe
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Imberbe » Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:43 pm

Tawny eagle! :wink:

And those cars could wait, it's better than a lion!
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Re: Eagle, Tawny

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:24 am

On Flickr I came across the following set of photos, taken in Kruger, of a Tawny Eagle playing with rhino dung…amazing photos and very interesting. 8)
Playing in dung by Wild Images

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deefstes
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Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:04 am

Mgoddard wrote:How about this one...another Steppe?? :( There were just so many brown ones its unbelievable...

Brown Bird

Another Brown Bird

Is this one bird or two birds? Either way, it looks like the same species. But I'm not going to tell you just yet :twisted: I'll leave it to you to at least narrow it down a bit more. You're guessing that it could be "another Steppe", based on what? The fact that it's brown?

Sure,your bird is brown and it's obviously a big raptor. There aren't really that many brown birds of prey and they pretty much come from only two families (broadly speaking), Eagles and Buzzards. So first tell me, do you think your bird is an Eagle or a Buzzard? Why?

PS - Don't you rather want to embed your pictures in your posts? It makes it easier for us to view them, not having to navigate to another page to see the image? All you need to do is put {img} before the URL and {/img} after the URL. Just replace the curly brackets with square brackets, I used curlies so that this post won't be formatted as if it's a picture.
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Mgoddard
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Mgoddard » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:55 pm

deefstes wrote:Is this one bird or two birds? Either way, it looks like the same species. But I'm not going to tell you just yet :twisted: I'll leave it to you to at least narrow it down a bit more. You're guessing that it could be "another Steppe", based on what? The fact that it's brown?

Sure,your bird is brown and it's obviously a big raptor. There aren't really that many brown birds of prey and they pretty much come from only two families (broadly speaking), Eagles and Buzzards. So first tell me, do you think your bird is an Eagle or a Buzzard? Why?



First of all I thought by making a link you get a bigger picture of the bird..but will now embed them in my post.

Deefstes lets see why I get so confused and why I question the ID’s

Image

Bird No. 2 above:

European Honey Buzzard / Wahlberg’s Eagle or Tawny Eagle

The gape reaches below mid eye - all
Bill Yellow with black tip - all
The tail looks long and square – maybe Honey Buzzard
It does not look like the legs are covered in feathers – Honey Buzzard, but not Tawny or Wahlberg’s


Image

Bird No. 3 above:

Bill and gape looks the same as bird No. 2 above
Legs look like they could be covered with feathers?
The overall color looks more mottled (lighter than bird no. 2)


What am I missing??

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deefstes
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:39 pm

Nice going Mgoddard, your ID process looks good. :thumbs_up:

Bird 2:
Honey-Buzzard is considered a national rarity so it is not really a bird that should come to mind first when you're working on an ID. It wouldn't be strange for you to see a couple of hundred Steppe Buzzards before you see your first Honey-Buzzard. Apart from the statistical unlikelihood (is there such a word?), there are other features that also rule out Honey-Buzzard. The yellow cere for one is a deal breaker. Honey-Buzzard is one of the few raptors with a grey cere. Honey-Buzzard also has a very distinct undertail barring pattern and a distinctive head shape (which reminds of a Pigeon).

Your observation of the extent of the gape is accurate and that does rule out Steppe Eagle and Lesser Spotted Eagle, leaving Wahlberg's Eagle and Tawny Eagle. I can see why you have doubts about the legs being covered with feathers or not. I'm not sure what to make of it because the bird's right leg does seem surprisingly exposed. The bird definitely is an Eagle though and I suspect it has something to do with wind blowing the feathers open. The all brown undertail is also a strong indicator that the bird is not a Buzzard.

OK, so we're left with Tawny Eagle and Wahlberg's Eagle. I think this is a common ID challenge that birders end up with as both of these birds are very common (especially in Kruger). The differences between the two species are also more in their structure really than in their plumage and this is something that takes a while to appreciate. I have to be honest that my first thought when I saw the picture was Tawny Eagle (and I alluded to that in my previous post). The relatively long tail then had me revise my opinion to Wahlberg's. But finally I think I'll settle for Tawny because of the relatively heavy bill (compared to Wahlberg's that have a little more dainty bill), the contrast between the wing coverts and darker primaries and the fairly baggy appearance of the feathers surrounding the legs.

Bird 3:
Try not to get too caught up in trying to establish the colour of these birds. Large raptors can be so variable in plumage that it is often of little help to know just how brown a bird is. The picture doesn't show much, although you did observe the gape correctly, but based on the general impression that the bird gives, I'd go for Tawny Eagle again.


The identification of Aquila eagles really isn't a trivial task and you're allowed to struggle with them :wink: . I think many birders don't appreciate just how difficult they can be and try to ID them too hastily.
"Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel." -Homer Simpson

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Didbird
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Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Didbird » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:36 pm

Hi,
Could you help me to identify this eagle?
I hesitate between "Eagle, Steppe" and "Eagle, Tawny". For the perched Eagle, the criteria of the corner of the mouth is near the limit too...
The photo of the eagle was taken near Lower Sabie at the end of July.

Image

Thank you by advance.

Didbird, France
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DotDan
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Re: Help on Eagle ID

Unread postby DotDan » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:48 pm

I am going to go with a Tawny eagle :hmz:

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ivan
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Re: Help on Eagle ID

Unread postby ivan » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:11 pm

Look like TAWNY EAGLE :hmz:

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deefstes
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby deefstes » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:23 am

Hi Didier,

I'd agree with Tawny Eagle.
"Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel." -Homer Simpson

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Mgoddard
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Re: Eagle, Tawny

Unread postby Mgoddard » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:35 am

For those who do not read the TR...here a few pics of my special sighting of a Tawny Eagle seen on the LS - Skukuza Road

Image

Image

Image

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richardharris
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Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby richardharris » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:02 pm

Thanks to everyone for the help so far :)

Here are some raptors taken on the H9 when a very large number were arriving at a quelea site! I think I have a tawny and lesser spotted together.

Confirmation or other ideas gratefully received!

Some other views are in my trip report just posted.

Richard

Image

http://www.pbase.com/richardharris/image/109846769/original.jpg

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Niall
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Niall » Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:26 pm

Hi Richard

The top pic - the bird on the left looks more like a Tawny Eagle to me than Steppe, which are usually a darker brown. The one on the right looks like Lesser Spotted.

Cheers

Niall.

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A Pair of Tawny Eagles

Unread postby Dave Heard » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:51 pm

The ONLY morning I left camp in the dark I was rewarded with this pic on the Lower Sabie road.
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