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Thread started 22 Jul 2009 (Wednesday) 06:06
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Help ID, unknown raptor in South Africa

 
heladepela
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Jul 22, 2009 06:06 |  #1

Hi fellow birders/birdtographers​,

A while back I was in South Africa (January) and visiting all kinds of gorgeous places. Whilst in the Bontebok Nature Park near Swellendam I spotted this raptor sitting on a telephone wire.

Anyone know what it is ? It was shot with my Canon 40D (soon for sale) and the 24-105mm f4 from the car.

IMAGE: http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy117/heladepela/IMG_6730a.jpg

And having checked my Sasol Birds of S.A. I'm thinking a juv. Steppe Buzzard, but I'm just not sure at all ?

Many thanks !



  
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jgrussell
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Jul 22, 2009 23:21 |  #2

The steppe eagle has a solid colored breast, even the juvies. I'd be thinking more of a juvie black kite.


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blog (external link) | gear | my birds (external link)http://photos.jgrussel​l.com/gallery/7381653_​pK9fK (external link)

  
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heladepela
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Jul 23, 2009 03:58 |  #3

The steppe eagle has a solid colored breast, even the juvies. I'd be thinking more of a juvie black kite.

I wasn't thinking of a Steppe EAGLE, as that would surely have been much larger even as a juv. and I'm not sure it frequents S.A. ? I'm thinking Buzzard types, maybe a large hawk but it seems to "solid/chunky" for that...

BTW, brilliant shots of Botswana/SA birds on your site. Did you hire any lenses for that trip, or were they all 100-400mm ?




  
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billycan
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Jul 23, 2009 05:00 |  #4

I am pretty sure that this is the Steppe Buzzard.




  
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heladepela
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Jul 23, 2009 08:12 |  #5

Thanks billycan, that would be great as I've not marked it as a new species. Do you think juv. or adult ?




  
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billycan
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Jul 23, 2009 12:32 |  #6

One thing to go by is that "adults have dark brown eyes and immatures have light, biscuit coloured-eyes". Ref Southern African Birds - A Photographic Guide by Ian Sinclair and Ian Davidson. The "pale zone accross the breast" is a diagnostic feature and based on your image, my guess is that this is an adult Steppe Buzzard.




  
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jgrussell
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Jul 23, 2009 22:34 |  #7

heladepela wrote in post #8328994 (external link)
I wasn't thinking of a Steppe EAGLE, as that would surely have been much larger even as a juv. and I'm not sure it frequents S.A. ? I'm thinking Buzzard types, maybe a large hawk but it seems to "solid/chunky" for that...

Size is hard to tell from the image, and you folks and we folks don't use the term buzzard the same way, I think!

heladepela wrote in post #8328994 (external link)
BTW, brilliant shots of Botswana/SA birds on your site. Did you hire any lenses for that trip, or were they all 100-400mm?

Thanks! The 100-400 was hired for that trip -- I didn't even have a dSLR until about three weeks before the trip. I bought my own 100-400 after I got back.


-- jgr
blog (external link) | gear | my birds (external link)http://photos.jgrussel​l.com/gallery/7381653_​pK9fK (external link)

  
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Krypty
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Jul 24, 2009 01:48 |  #8

Yes, that is a Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo). We have plenty here where I live.

You usually see them more in the Summer months (Dec-Feb) as they do not really like the cold.


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heladepela
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Jul 24, 2009 03:52 |  #9

Thanks for confirming everyone, that's a new species for my list. I saw a few of these whilst driving, but was never 100% sure in ID'ing as I also needed to concentrate on the road ;)

Krypty you mention the latin name for the Eurasian Buzzard to my knowledge... And having checked Wikipedia, I find that the S.A. Steppe Buzzard (Buteo Buteo Vulpinus) is actually a subspecies of our Buzzard (Buteo Buteo). Hmmm, interesting, will not be counting it as a "proper" species, it'll get added to my sub-species list instead. Learned something new today :)




  
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Help ID, unknown raptor in South Africa
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