KNP Raptor - Brand new Pics!

  • Johann
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10 years 9 months ago #3655 by Johann
Johann created the topic: KNP Raptor - Brand new Pics!
Seen in KNP, north of Tshokwane. Eating termites as they emerged from the mound.







Any ideas?

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  • Doug
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10 years 9 months ago #3656 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Hi there.

Don't tick it yet, a raptor expert says he is fairly confident it is a Great Spotted Eagle (no I didn't mistype that - yes a Great Spotted Eagle).
I will try an get more info.

Cheers.
Doug.

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  • nkgray
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10 years 9 months ago #3657 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic:
Doug,

One thing I thought had learnt in the past year is that one of the ways of separating the Spotted Eagles from the other large brown eagles (Steppe/Tawny/wahlbergs) is the nostril shape.

This bird does not have the round nostrils one would expect from the Spotted Eagles.

Neil

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10 years 9 months ago #3659 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
HI Neil.

To further complicate things, the nostril, if truly oval, is slanted 45 degrees forward. Tawny and Steppe have it slanted back so it is not a Tawny or Steppe Eagle. Also the bill is to small.

The reasons given for Greater Spotted were.
1) Shape of the head and facial features. It simply does not look like Lesser Spotted.
2) If you look closely at the top pic, there are very dark feathers with a bit of a sheen comming through which is consistent with Greater Spotted.
3) Broad dark baring on the tertials (almost light brown notching)

I hate these large brown eagle sometimes.

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10 years 9 months ago #3661 by niall
niall replied the topic:
A couple of identifiers

- A bit difficult to gauge the bird's size. Spotted Eagles are large at over 60cm - size of a Tawny Eagle. This bird appears smaller than that, but not easy to say from photo's.

- Bill size is also something to look at - if it is a smaller bird, i.e. 45cm or so, it looks more like a dark form Booted Eagle, from the bill.
- White marking at the top of the wing would tie in with Booted.

I'm no expert, so I'll watch the comments in anticipation...

Cheers

Niall.

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  • Hanno
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10 years 9 months ago #3662 by Hanno
Hanno replied the topic:
Here goes my opinion (and my neck) and this is not from a raptor authority. The colour seems to light if I compare all the guides I have. Another thing that bothers me on it being a GSE is the colouration at the back of the neck. It doesn't state this anywhere in the literature I have. Also the lack of spots is
making me question the id.

It seems more in line with Steppe Eagle. Saying this the gape seems wrong (should go behind the eye in Steppe and here it seems to stop in the middle of the eye. This might be the angle of photo but I won't bet on that.

The gape might even suggest Tawny Eagle. Roberts VII refers to the sighting of GSE as needing confirmation and then states that it is very similar to Lesser Spotted and Tawny Eagle.

Foraging wise Roberts states that Steppe Eagle is often found at emerging termite swarms. GSE food preferences are given as mammals and carrion (according to Birds of Europe and mice and frogs on a paper on GSE on the i-net).Here goes my opinion (and my neck) and this is not from a raptor authority. The colour seems to light if I compare all the guides I have. Another thing that bothers me on it being a GSE is the colouration at the back of the neck. It doesn't state this anywhere in the literature I have. Also the lack of spots is
making me question the id.

I would say this is a Steppe Eagle with the information available to me. (Now for the gullotine) <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: -->

This is added after reading Niall's post. How often is Booted Eagle seen at termite mounds? Roberts states that the preferred food for Booted Eagle is other bird species.

I do think the angle of the photo on the head (bill) makes estemates a little more difficult. I do think the photographic angle creates the "funny" face of this eagle.

Ps. Where was this taken and who is the raptor expert?

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10 years 9 months ago #3663 by Johann
Johann replied the topic:
@Hanno: Photos taken somewhere between Tshokwane and Satara, in central Kruger park.

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10 years 9 months ago #3664 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
HI Hanno.

I am also not an expert but I do remember Trevor saying that the Steppe Eagles in our region all have a pale throat patch that seems to be missing on this bird. Overall the bill is way to small to be Tawny or Steppe and Niall said.

There is also one of the Buteos but I am not so sure about that.

You were refering to the colour and apparently the reason given was that if you look at the top photo, you can see the very cark feathers coming through under the younger plumage.

Cheers.
Doug.

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10 years 9 months ago #3665 by Hanno
Hanno replied the topic:
Doug,

that is to say the "lighter" feathers are indeed juvenile plumage and not another bird altogether. The darker feathers coming through as adult plumage then becomes an assumption. Not saying it is not, simply that this picture of this bird does not correlate with any photo I found on the net on GSE.

Who is the raptor authority?

Thanks Johann, I picked the thread up in SANparks forum, taken by Elsa?

Kind regards
Hanno

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10 years 9 months ago #3666 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
HI Hanno.

I got the ID from Gerhard Verdoorn. Although smaller things are not his strong area, he works exclusively with Raptors and spends a few weeks every year in Israel watching the raptor migrations.

Cheers.
Doug.

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