KNP Raptor - Brand new Pics!

  • Hanno
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10 years 10 months ago #3700 by Hanno
Hanno replied the topic:
Hallo Trevor

This request was pick-up from the SANparks forum on birds. This is what Elsa (the lady who posted the request and photos) posted in her first post:

This large Eagle was sitting on a termite nest eating them as they emerged, and after some serious debating in the car we still could not all agree on exactly what it was.
Help please.

The reference to termite erruption was to this.

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  • gordon
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10 years 10 months ago #3701 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Another thing that is bothering me is that the pics posted on the SANParks forum do actually show the stovepipe leggings in some of the pics.
So what eagle would be dark brown, have a half oval nostril, a light eye and stovepipe leggings? <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) -->

Going through my literature I first thought a dark phase Tawny Eagle, then seeing the leggings on the SANParks forum, I am not so sure.

How about one of those hybrid Spotted Eagles? (with cross breeding who knows how the DNA is going to turn out!)

Cheers,
Gordon

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  • j-ms
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10 years 10 months ago #3703 by j-ms
j-ms replied the topic:
For what it is worth, on page 22 of Africa Geographic's little publication "Southern Africa's Birds of Prey" (ISBN-0-620-34234-X) there is a picture of a "normal" Tawny taken by Heinrich v/d Berg showing it perched on a termite mound and accompanied by the following text:

The rough and ready Tany Eagle Aquila rapax ... is as likely to be seen gulping down a large rodent (previous spread) as it is perusing the foraging potential of a terminte mound (above).


The author of the book is Andrew Jenkins from the Fitz - has anyone bounced this bird off him yet ?

Interestingly, the speciman in Heinrich's photograph shows some white on the underwing.

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  • Widus
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10 years 9 months ago #3742 by Widus
Widus replied the topic:
I fully agree with Stephan on two points. The photos are very nice and everything points out (after discussing it with my friend Hubert who has great experience with spotted eagles) towards a Lesser Spotted Eagle ([i:mzfqg7ew]Aquila pomarina[/i:mzfqg7ew]).

The photos likely depict a young bird because the eyes are not yellow and because the nape/back of head is yellowish. The color of the eye is kind of important. Despite not being yellow it is still much lighter than the eyes of a Greater Spotted eagle ([i:mzfqg7ew]Aquila clanga[/i:mzfqg7ew]) that are plain dark. The wing coverts are lighter than the back which fits [i:mzfqg7ew]A. pomarina[/i:mzfqg7ew]. Moreover, the bill is proportionally small compared to the head; a feature that also fits [i:mzfqg7ew]A. pomarina[/i:mzfqg7ew] well.

Widus

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  • nkgray
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10 years 9 months ago #3744 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic:
Are we not ignoring the obvious here? The second set of photos clearly shows the nostril of this bird to be a definite gash and not round.

Unless someone can point to references that show that the Spotted Eagles are known not to have round nostrils then this has to fall into the Steppe/Tawny/Wahlbergs group. All the illustrations/photos in the 7 or 8 references that I have checked show both Spotted Eagles to have definitely round nostrils.

The position of the gape is neither far enough forward for a Wahlbergs, or a Lesser Spotted for that matter, nor far enough back for a Steppe - leaving Tawny. Eye colour is a red herring, since juvenile Tawny and Lesser Spotted have similar eye colour.

Unless the nostril/gape issue can be put to bed all the discussion of colouring, leggings, etc. is for me rather irrelevant. The bare parts of the head seem to me to be the key here.

Neil Gray

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  • Doug
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10 years 9 months ago #3745 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Hi Neil.

It seems as if it is a case of not being able to see the feathers for the eagle.
I am amazed at how far this has gone on. Normally with eagles, there are a few discussion back and forth and everyone agrees unanimously what it is. It is amazing that every still differs on this.
Gerhard is still convinced it is Greater Spotted, Trevor says Tawny, "Spotted eagle experts" from Europe say Lesser Spotted.

I will start a poll.

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  • Trevor Hardaker
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10 years 9 months ago #3747 by Trevor Hardaker
Trevor Hardaker replied the topic:
Hi,

Here is a quick comparison of THE bird with shots of Tawny and Lesser Spotted Eagles that I took a few weeks ago in Kruger.

I will let you make your own comparisons...



Regards
Trevor

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  • Doug
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10 years 9 months ago #3748 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
I will say I am with Trevor on this one when comparing head shape.
Clearly there is a more angular shape to he head in Tawny compared to Lesser Spotted (ignoring the nostril shape).

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  • gordon
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10 years 9 months ago #3749 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Hi Trevor,

Do you by any chance have the same pics showing the full bird?

I would very much like to see/compare body shape as well as the legs.

Does anyone have pics of Greater Spotted that they are willing to post for comparison? (presumably we are talking adult here?)

Cheers
Gordon

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10 years 9 months ago #3750 by sterblan
sterblan replied the topic: KNP Eagle
I never thought I would find myself not been able to agree with Trevor Hardaker, but here goes.

I agree that his comparative pictures appear to point towards Tawny. However, one can hardly compare head shapes when one bird is looking back over its shoulder, and the other is looking straight ahead. Also, the bill shape of Johann's bird can be gleaned from all the many pictures, and clearly shows that it is a weaker bill than Tawny.

As to the shape of the nostril, most authorities explain them to be rounded, not round.

And then, the clincher, in my view: in the series of video based photos posted by Johann, just before taking off, this bird clearly shows the stove-pipe effect leggings, even with the loose feathers high up on the leg. Also, the comparison with the starlings support statements that the bird is not a big eagle.

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