Highlands Raptor

  • gordon
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8 years 7 months ago #11179 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
Have a look at that tail pattern... the only bird I can find with two broad bars, the upper white and the lower dark, is Western Banded Snake Eagle. Black Chested has more barring on the tail.

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  • JGB
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8 years 7 months ago #11182 by JGB
JGB replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
Gordon,

One very lost WBSE!!!!! Now if only I could have gotten a few decent photos of it!!!

Dewi,

Highlands Wilderness is a 1200 hectare sectional title game farm, near Bela Bela, about 180km from Johannesburg. Unfortunantely unless you are a guest of one of the residents access will not be allowed.

Cheers,
Justin

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  • Dewi Edwards
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8 years 7 months ago #11186 by Dewi Edwards
Dewi Edwards replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
Thanks for that Justin, I'll have to book in there.

Gordon,
Having scrutinized lots of pics on the internet, in books and stared hard at this photo for far too long than I really should have, I am now leaning more towards African Hawk Eagle <!-- s:banghead: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/banghead.gif" alt=":banghead:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:banghead: --> My reasons are as follows:-

Leg feather colouring - (wrong for WBSE)

Tail barring - I may be imagining this, but looking closely you can see that above the broad black tail band, there is thinner, narrower barring, I also think that the lighter colour above this barring is actually rufous, and not white, but this is subjective due to the lighting and exposure in the pic.

The mixture of grey and black on the back and wings corresponds with the grey areas normally shown by AHE.

Eye and cere colour - correct for AHE, wrong for WBSE and BCSE.

Bare Leg colour - correct for AHE, wrong for WBSE and BCSE.

The general shape and posture of the bird is also wrong for WBSE, and the photo where the bird is looking directly at the camera does not look right for any of the snake eagles.

The bird also has a small crest more reminiscent of AHE than the other two species.

I also still think that whatever species we finally decide on, the bird is moulting into adult plumage but retaining some immature feathering.

Interesting bird to research whatever the outcome. I still think that id-ing a photo like this is much harder than seeing the bird in the field.

Cheers,

Dewi.

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8 years 7 months ago #11187 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
Hi Dewi,

I definitely agree this is not an adult bird due to the colouring. I am going to throw two spanners into the works with your points... <!-- s:sonar: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/sonar.gif" alt=":sonar:" title="Sonar" /><!-- s:sonar: --> <!-- s:shocking: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/shocking.gif" alt=":shocking:" title="Shocking" /><!-- s:shocking: -->

The fine barring appears to be on the wing feathers not the tail and while the leg feather colour appears to be white which is fine for another species, there is still the problem of the bare, unfeathered tarsus. AHE or any other Eagle would be feathered all the way to the toes. Only the Snake Eagles and Buzzards would have this feature so that rules out all the Eagles. (apart from Harriers, Harrier-hawk and Marsh-harriers in this size category, though they would be obviously different in shape)

Also I would not take the colouring in my image as being true, I had to lighten it a lot to show the two broad contrasting bands on the tail (I would love to be able to see the whole tail without the wings projecting over it), so the "white" is probably either grey or a dirty wash??

PS I will compile a list of possible venues to go birding and PM them to you.

Cheers,
Gordon

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  • Dewi Edwards
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8 years 7 months ago #11188 by Dewi Edwards
Dewi Edwards replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
Hi Gordon,

You are right about the bare legs - I missed that one. The barring on the tail is visible (just) to the right of the primaries.

Throwing more spanners in the proverbial works, Augur Buzzard also has white leg feathering.....but I'm not going there <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Would love to find out what other raptorphiles think of this bird, but great fun researching it, I may be able to id a few raptors more easily by the time I've looked into this bird more!

This bird reminded me of when I was in Kruger last July. We saw an eagle in a tree and then in flight. The book I was using showed an illustration with identical underwing pattern to the one I had seen and the caption said Ayre's Hawk Eagle. I posted the pic on the internet in a trip report as Ayres, but later found that the bird is actually an African Hawk Eagle :rolleyes: I still have not corrected my caption, but thought that someone would correct the ID. Up to now, no one has commented on it? The lesson here is to not believe everything you see in books, or on the internet for that matter - always use several points of reference.



Have fun,

Dewi.

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  • Rusty Justy
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8 years 7 months ago #11190 by Rusty Justy
Rusty Justy replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
Can anyone point out any reason as to why this isnt an immature/Sub-Adult European Honey Buzzard???!

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8 years 7 months ago #11191 by Jon
Jon replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
I have been watching with great interest the discussions. My immediate impression of the bird was "cuckoo hawk for sure". Given the size, shape and even coloration (belly not visable).

It is definately not a Whalleys, and I am not too familiar with EHB. I still think it is cuckoo hawk

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8 years 7 months ago #11194 by JGB
JGB replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
<!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: -->

I have just had a look at the photos of a raptor that was sitting in a nearby tree when I took the photos of the mystery bird. The broad rufous streaking would indicate cuckoo-hawk (altough it could also be an ostrich) and when one looks at the head shapes look very similar.




Yours in raptor confusion,
Justin

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8 years 7 months ago #11195 by JGB
JGB replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
Take a look at the photo of an African Cuckoo Hawk on African Bird Club, how is that for similarity with my bird?


[url:1tdgwwe9]http://www.birdquest.net/afbid/birdspecies.php?func=view&slideno=3&af_bs_id=231[/url:1tdgwwe9]
[url:1tdgwwe9]http://www.birdquest.net/afbid/birdspecies.php?func=view&slideno=5&af_bs_id=231[/url:1tdgwwe9]

Now let me get back to work and stop fretting about some unidentifiable raptor..................

Cheers,
Justin

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  • mossie
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8 years 7 months ago #11197 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Highlands Raptor
That was a good one! Kept us going for a while <!-- s:bouncy: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bouncy.gif" alt=":bouncy:" title="Enthusiastic" /><!-- s:bouncy: -->

Cuckoo hawk is probably right.

It would also confirm that the unidentified raptor I saw in the same area which also had a mixed grey/brown bloched back with a few white marks was probably also Cuckoo Hawk.

But I will hold back on that tick until I am 100% sure.

Mossie

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