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raptor id - short-toed eagle

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Offline lucy

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« on: May 11, 2008, 18:26 PM »
More lessons needed in raptor identification: I saw two of these soaring together over a valley in Montseny.  At first I was confident they were Short-toed eagles, but now my confidence is ebbing away! Can someone please either confirm or correct the ID.  An explanation would be very welcome.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 20:27 PM by lucy »

Offline John C

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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 18:50 PM »
Time for that confidence to come flowing back - it is indeed an adult  Short-toed Eagle and your uncertainty in identifying it correctly first time round was misplaced! 

Note the dark head and upper chest contrasting with the generally white underparts boldly spotted on the flanks and belly with equally bold lines on a pale underwing.  The tail pattern is superficially like Honey Buzzard's since it has two narrow bars near the base of the tail, but note the extra bar between these and end of the tail plus the much cleaner, white ground colour. 

John

Offline lucy

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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 19:27 PM »
Thanks John, that's just what I needed.

Simon

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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2008, 19:56 PM »
Thanks to you both! Lucy for such a wondeful photograph and John for such a lucid explanation!

In awe

Simon

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 11:31 AM »
Greetings Lucy and John and All,
Thanx for that/those (pic. & descrip.). Beautiful plummage!
Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline potes

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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 18:46 PM »
Great photo Lucy and along with your ID request it has considerably helped me to be a little more confident with my own IDs. Same to you John for your vivid description. Cheers, truly priceless.

We have a pair of S.T.E that often hang around a rocky outcrop about 100 meters from our home. I think another way to help ID these guys is  they are the only eagle that actually hovers in search of prey. It would be so much easier if they wore very big ID badges !!! 

regards

Offline glennie

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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 20:27 PM »
What a wonderful photo.

Offline lucy

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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 22:45 PM »
Hi all,

Glad you like the photo.  The two eagles were quite wrapped up in each other, exchanging calls, and for a short while came very close.  Hope to see them again next time I go to Montseny.

Offline John C

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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 23:57 PM »
I think another way to help ID these guys is  they are the only eagle that actually hovers in search of prey. It would be so much easier if they wore very big ID badges !!! 

Ah but they DO have large ID badges - you just have to do is learn a new visual language to break the code! 

Hovering is indeed a very good pointer for this species, but Common Buzzards also hover (and more regularly so than some older books suggest).  Even so in Spain any large 'broad-winged' bird (as against small pointy winged falcons) that presisitently hovers will turn out to be STE 9 times out of 10. 

On the other hand, any bird that persistently hoovers ........ no, perhaps I'd better leave this one .....  John