KNP Raptor - Brand new Pics!

  • Johann
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10 years 10 months ago #3668 by Johann
Johann replied the topic:
Some more pics of the bird in question:



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  • Doug
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10 years 10 months ago #3669 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Hi Niall.

I just had a look. Booted Eagle is ruled out because the wings fall well short of the tail tip in all forms of Booted Eagle and although not always white, all forms of booted eagle have some form of a pale occipital ridge which is clearly missing in this bird.

Also Lesser Spotted Eagle is out because Lesser Spotted has yellow eyes whereas this bird has dark eyes.

The other possibilities include:
Dakr Morph Long-Legged Buzzard but the bill looks to heavy and the gape extension too long.

Really of all the birds it could fit in our region are:
Tawny Eagle
Steppe Eagle
Greater Spotted Eagle

Birds that are out:
Booted Eagle (Wings way to long)
Dark Morph LLB (bill to heavy and gape extension too long)

Neil Gray might be onto something with the nostril shape - it looked too round to me but on the closeups it could be oval.

Tawny has a yellow-brown eye, not a dark eye like this. Juvenile Tawny does have a darker eye but then there should be much more buff edging to the coverts.

The possibility is there for Steppe.
Here is the problem with Steppe though:
1) Pale nape patch is said to be diagnostic for Steppe in our region - Matches
2) Gape extends to back of eye - Does not match this picture
3) Aquila nipalensis orientalis that migrates to our region (the other race is resident in Europe) has a pale throat patch - This bird may have a slightly lighter chin but if you look at the proper definition of "throat", the throat is concolours with the jugulum, sides of neck and breast.

Has there ever been documented evidence of hybradization in Steepe and Tawny Eagles?

This bird is certainly interesting.

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  • sterblan
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10 years 10 months ago #3670 by sterblan
sterblan replied the topic: Eagle
In my view these are very good pictures of Lesser Spotted Eagle. What about this bird would cause one to think of Greater rather than Lesser Spotted Eagle. Just the nape patch should clinch it.

Stephan Terblanche

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10 years 10 months ago #3671 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Hi Stephan.

I would tend to second that. Not on the Greater Spotted eagle side, but just a question on the Steppe is the short gape extension and the lack of the pale throat patch?

Cheers.
Doug.

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10 years 10 months ago #3672 by sterblan
sterblan replied the topic: Eagle
Sorry, I did not see the previous posts before I posted my opinion.

Let me say more about why I consider this to be Lesser Spotted Eagle.

The head shape is spot on. There is no sign of a crest, and yet the nape feathers are long and pointed, as they should be. The bill is simply not strong enough for Tawny or Steppe, yet stronger than it would be in Wahlberg's. Steppe is also cancelled out by the gape -- it is not nearly deep enough.

The nape patch points towards a young bird, which is why the colour of the eye does not mean much: it is only yellow in the adult bird.

During my visit to the Kruger Park we found a large, loose flock of Lesser Spotted south of Mopani on 8 Jan 2007. They were all after something like termites, some on the ground and many in the air. In flight they showed everything one needed to see: drooping hand, rounded tail usually spread out, irregular white crescent on the rump, straight hindwing, etc.

But again, excellent pictures!

Stephan

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  • gordon
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10 years 10 months ago #3674 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
What about the nostril?

Surely a spotted eagle (either lesser or greater) would show a round nostril?

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  • shikra
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10 years 10 months ago #3675 by shikra
shikra replied the topic:
If there is a shot of the legs that would probably settle it. LSEs have 'thin' or 'stove-pipe' looking feathers on the legs. Very distinctive.

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  • Doug
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10 years 10 months ago #3676 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
So to sum up so far? We have a Lesser Spotted Eagle with a nape patch diagnostic for Steppe Eagle, Nape feathers matching Lesser Spotted Eagle, a gape projection matching Tawny Eagle and an eye colour matching either Great Spotted or Steppe.

I am stumped on this one. Normaly all of these large eagle or obviously easy. A few discussion back and forth and there you have it.

One thing that does worry me.

If you look at how oval the nostril is on Tawny and Steppe, this does not seem nearly as pronounced.

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10 years 10 months ago #3677 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
One thing I noticed is that Greater Spotted Eagle does not have a totaly round nostril.
http://www.orientalbirdimages.org/searc ... ly_ID=&p=6

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10 years 10 months ago #3681 by j-ms
j-ms replied the topic:
The take-off image posted on the SANParks forum clearly shows the stove-pipe legs [i:gdbugulc]a la[/i:gdbugulc] LSE although the pre take-off images suggest the legs may be more heavily feathered..
[url:gdbugulc]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13137&start=75[/url:gdbugulc]

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