Help with raptor

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4 years 7 months ago #85915 by Charles Dickinson
Charles Dickinson created the topic: Help with raptor
Hi all,
I've been scratching my head with this one and was wondering whether somebody could help in ID-ing this raptor. It was seen in the Kruger National Park on 14 April 2013 along the H1-1, near the S65 junction. Any help would be appreciated.





Thank you very much.
Simon

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4 years 7 months ago #85917 by fred vermeulen
fred vermeulen replied the topic: Re: Help with raptor
I've been looking at these pictures for a while and thinking, researching and thinking some more...

I still don't have an ID and it's starting to irk me ;)

When I first looked at it, I thought maybe an immature Martial Eagle, based on the colouring - but that doesn't fit completely with most of the Martial Eagles I've seen. The flight feathers in contrast to the coverts seem out of proportion for a Martial (not to mention that the colours don't seem to match completely for the age of the bird either)

Then I thought maybe a sub-adult African Hawk Eagle, but again it doesn't seem to fit because even though some of the features are matched, the flight feathers are too dark with this individual.

I am stumped - but hopefully someone else is able to crack it, as I hope to learn from this one.

Since this was bothering me so much I posted it to facebook and Trevor Hardaker replied with an answer that now makes it a lot more obvious. He Id'd it as an African Harrier Hawk.

I've come across a Juvenile and Immature bird before, but it never looked like this one. I guess that's why they're so notorious for being confusing when moving between different stage plumages. A pity the facial mask wasn't visible or it could have been a quicker ID :)

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4 years 7 months ago #85924 by Charles Dickinson
Charles Dickinson replied the topic: Re: Help with raptor
Thanks Bryn,
I've been caught out by AHH before, and I had it as one of the possibilities, but I just wasn't certain enough.
So we learn.
Simon

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