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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 19:37   #1
MrSmith
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ID please Cape Town - South Africa

Hi

I can't work out what this is, I have seen this bird a couple of times in the last week in Camps Bay, Cape Town. The water in the background is the Atlantic Ocean.

Today is the first time I managed to get a few pictures, sorry they are not great the light was not good, very overcast and taken holding camera to the eyepiece of my scope and then binos.

Any ideas?
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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 19:43   #2
njlarsen
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Reminds me of a juvenile egyptian vulture, even though I am not positive

Niels
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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 20:05   #3
tconzemi
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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Reminds me of a juvenile egyptian vulture, even though I am not positive

Niels
Egyptian do not have yellow iris, also this bird prey has a very long crest and barred flight feathers, I only can think about Long-crested Eagle, but one with big problems having lost all the feathers in the face, strange, very strange
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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 20:27   #4
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Hi Tom, if you look at third image the bill looks too weak for an eagle, at least to my mind ...

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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 20:32   #5
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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Hi Tom, if you look at third image the bill looks too weak for an eagle, at least to my mind ...

Niels
agree, it looks tiny like an Egyptian, but this guy has feathered tarsi and Long-crested is a small eagle, maybe it lost its hook when loosing all these feathers, as I said
strange, strange...
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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 20:55   #6
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A juvenile/immature African Harrier-hawk (Gymnogene) might be an option, although the eye normally is not that bright yellow, see http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/155...-harrier-hawk/

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Old Saturday 14th April 2012, 21:11   #7
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A juvenile/immature African Harrier-hawk (Gymnogene) might be an option, although the eye normally is not that bright yellow, see http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/155...-harrier-hawk/

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I would say not as the bill on my bird is long and thin.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 01:02   #8
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Long-crested Eagle is the only option surely...albeit one with severe feather loss around the face! Weird looking thing for sure!
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 01:20   #9
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Strange thing for sure ...

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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 09:46   #10
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A local expert just emailed me the following response after the photos were email to him:

Quote:
This bird is a very young African Harrier Hawk (aka Gymnogene). Judging by the plumage, I don’t think it left the nest all that long ago... One doesn’t get to see photos of birds this young out in the field, so to speak, all that often.
Thanks guys.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 12:18   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
A local expert just emailed me the following response after the photos were email to him:

Quote:

This bird is a very young African Harrier Hawk (aka Gymnogene). Judging by the plumage, I donít think it left the nest all that long ago... One doesnít get to see photos of birds this young out in the field, so to speak, all that often.


Thanks guys.
Hi again
I have a few questions for the local expert

when does the iris color change from bright yellow to brownish as shown on all available pictures of young and very young gymnogenes?
when do these very young gymnogenes loose their tarsal feathering and finally look like normal gymnogenes of any age with long, no very long bare tarsi?
And why does this very young gymnogene not show large pale feather edges on upperwing as they usually do?

Maybe you should ask a second opinion from another local expert
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 12:22   #12
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Agree with Tom - just don't see a Gymnogene here.....
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 15:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdboybowley View Post
Long-crested Eagle is the only option surely...albeit one with severe feather loss around the face! Weird looking thing for sure!

There's your answer, that's exactly what it is.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 18:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tconzemi View Post
Hi again
I have a few questions for the local expert

when does the iris color change from bright yellow to brownish as shown on all available pictures of young and very young gymnogenes?
when do these very young gymnogenes loose their tarsal feathering and finally look like normal gymnogenes of any age with long, no very long bare tarsi?
And why does this very young gymnogene not show large pale feather edges on upperwing as they usually do?

Maybe you should ask a second opinion from another local expert
Although I initially suggested Gymnogene, I fully agree with Tom that the factors he mentioned do not support this species. However, a long-crested is out of range in Capetown, although this is off course possible. I would like to hear the opinion of some other local experts.

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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 20:59   #15
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I'm neither local or expert but a number of birds I've seen with bill deformities and feather loss have either been released from or escaped from captivity. Is this feasible for this species do you know?
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 21:11   #16
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I'm neither local or expert but a number of birds I've seen with bill deformities and feather loss have either been released from or escaped from captivity. Is this feasible for this species do you know?
yes indeed good question, it would explain the feather loss, the hook loss and the occurrence outside the range, so are raptors kept in captivity (legally or illegally) in ZA?
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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 21:14   #17
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yes indeed good question, it would explain the feather loss, the hook loss and the occurrence outside the range, so are raptors kept in captivity (legally or illegally) in ZA?
And would it open up for the possibility of a species from outside Africa? (not that I know what that would be)

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Old Sunday 15th April 2012, 21:48   #18
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The local consensus (I have been in email contact with a few local experts) seems to be that it is a Long Crested Eagle and possibly recently escaped from http://www.worldofbirds.org.za/index.php.
The Long Crested Eagle that they lost recently had arrived with them in a damaged condition.
I took many photos of the bird today and will post more pictures as soon as I have selected a few and resized them.
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 16:19   #19
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I managed to get some closer pics yesterday afternoon.

In flight and overview:
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 16:23   #20
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Head and tail:
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 16:26   #21
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Body:
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Old Monday 16th April 2012, 16:43   #22
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Pretty conclusive for long-crested eagle I would say.

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