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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 10:33   #1
BirdingRob
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bird of prey, Riyadh

This was taken by a Saudi wildlife photographer and friend (two days ago). I didn't see the bird myself.

With no context I find it difficult to ID birds of prey! I have a short list of 2 ideas.

Help required please


Rob www.birdingforalark.blogspot.com
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 10:59   #2
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Honey Buzzard
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 11:37   #3
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Originally Posted by BirdingRob View Post
I have a short list of 2 ideas.
I might have the same shortlist: European or Oriental Honey-buzzard? Looks like apivorus to me.
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 14:20   #4
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Yes those are the two. However as I said I didn't see it myself so can only judge from one photo.

I have just checked the two best historical records for the area and neither birder even saw a honey buzzard here. However the known wintering oriental honey buzzards in Oman could easily choose this passage route.

Its a long way east for honey buzzard so on geography alone I suspect oriental honey buzzard.

I'll see if my friend has any other pictures. In the meantime any other views out there? could it be anything else?

Rob www.birdingforalark.blogspot.com
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 15:23   #5
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Originally Posted by BirdingRob View Post

I'll see if my friend has any other pictures. In the meantime any other views out there? could it be anything else?

Rob www.birdingforalark.blogspot.com
No nothing else and my feeling is european HB
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 16:47   #6
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Nice photograph - wouldn't Oriental (ptilorhyncus) have a dark eye making this European (apivorus) ?
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 17:54   #7
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Nice photograph - wouldn't Oriental (ptilorhyncus) have a dark eye making this European (apivorus) ?
Not according to Opus: http://birdforum.net/opus/Oriental_Honey-buzzard

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Edit: another thread discussing separating these two species: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=53882
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 19:20   #8
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Nice photograph - wouldn't Oriental (ptilorhyncus) have a dark eye making this European (apivorus) ?
That's what it says in Collins, but there are plenty of examples of photos out there which refute this.
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Old Saturday 21st April 2012, 20:58   #9
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I recall reading (perhaps in the William Clark field guide?) that adult male OHB have a dark iris and females a yellow iris, and if it's OHB this bird must be a female on tail pattern.

Perhaps it's just because I've never seen OHB but I don't think there's anything in the image that would exclude EHB. There seems to be sign of a possible dark carpal patch (shown a little on the inner side of bird's left wing), which would exclude most OHB (typically no carpal patch in OHB except dark phase individuals) and there is no dark-rimmed pale throat patch (typically present in OHB, but not invariably). You probably need someone who's spent hours looking at both species to confidently ID this bird. Range might tip the balance a bit one way or the other but won't confirm ID if you can't get it from the image! Flight shot showing underwing would be useful!

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Old Sunday 22nd April 2012, 06:26   #10
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Brian, thanks for your comments. I checked with the photographer and he says he waited in vain for the bird to fly off. So I'm afraid we don't have any under wing shots.

By the way I emailed the photo to one of the experts from UAE who spend hours trying to tell them apart and told him the forum is generally in favour of EHB. He thinks the ID as European is "OK but can't be 100%". Mind you he is birding in Ethiopia at the moment and has a poor internet connection.

Thanks to everyone!

Rob www.birdingforalark.blogspot.com
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Old Sunday 22nd April 2012, 11:21   #11
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I checked with the photographer and he says he waited in vain for the bird to fly off. So I'm afraid we don't have any under wing shots.
Crikey - some folk have all the luck With me it's usually the other way about!

I must confess that my experiances of seeing HBs and OHBs hasn't exactly lent itself to seeing their iris colour!

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Old Sunday 22nd April 2012, 12:36   #12
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Originally Posted by BirdingRob View Post
This was taken by a Saudi wildlife photographer and friend (two days ago). I didn't see the bird myself.

With no context I find it difficult to ID birds of prey! I have a short list of 2 ideas.

Help required please


Rob www.birdingforalark.blogspot.com
European Honey buzzard for me too.


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