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Old Friday 19th May 2006, 17:32   #1
Dimitris
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Question Aquilla: Imperial or Steppe?

I just returned from a field trip from Uni and we saw a huge Eagle. At first we thought (me and 3 other NON birders.One voted for Golden) we had a young Steppe Eagle but after surfing the net for photos I think we got and Imperial of the same age.

Here's a description:

Time/Weather/Habitat/Date/Duration of encounter/light:

Around 12 pm Today19-5-06/Clear skys with a tempreture of around 28 Celcious/ Low sloping hills with some plantations,trees and loads of grassland./around 5 minutes under very good conditions, observation started at 200 meters the bird flying swiftly away


In general: Huge Aquila (3 times the size of the mobbing Hooded Crows). Overal coloration a warm Beige. Appeared to have no streaking

Wings: Beige. Flight feathers: Dark. NO band across the wing (upper/under) but did have discreet flashes of white on the primaries (upper)

Tail: dark. No white

Jizz: Appeared impresive and elegant. Not compact and did not give the impression of an overly macho,compact agressive bird. Wings appeared normal in width, the fingers beeing easily seen and clear of each other. Was mobbed by corvids against which it didn't behave agressively.(Note that the observation lasted for around 5 minues before the bird got out of sight)

Other species seen: Common Buzzards, Common Kestrels, White Stork (soared with this bird. Eagle appeared marginly larger then the Stork). Swallows(Barn Red-rumped, House Martin),Crested Larks, Carduerlis Finches, Hooded Crows, Jackdaws, Black-headed Buntings,House Sparrows.

Initial descision: immature Step, second descision: immature Imperial (Which I learn afterwards occurs in the area relatively frequently)

Googled photos:

Steppe:

http://images.google.gr/imgres?imgur...lr%3D%26sa%3DN

Colourwise the bird resembled photos 9-11. But it did not have the wingstripes and was't as bulk.

Imperial:

http://images.google.gr/imgres?imgur...3D el%26lr%3D

Shapewise this is the closest much. Bird didn't have the streaks though (distance??)

I think I've photoed the bird. If they turn out good I'll be sure to post them.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Dimitris :)
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Old Friday 19th May 2006, 23:27   #2
lou salomon
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hi dimi!

congrats to that eagle, i'm always impressed when seeing an imperial and that's what it sounds like. first you should try to age the bird which is essential. warm beige is well in line with a 2cy imperial. and since there was no central band along the underwing it must be heliaca - usually in nipalensis up to 5cy this light band is conspicous. waiting for your pics. what do you mean by "i think i have photoed the bird"?!!
btw. some days ago (13th may), in macin mountains, northern dorogea during a few hours there were seen 8 lesser spotted, 1 imperial and 1 steppe eagle!
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Old Saturday 20th May 2006, 16:21   #3
Dimitris
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Hi Lou :)

You know sometimes I just hate myself for not pressing the shatter button on my digital bins when observing an aw-inspring bird and that's what happened this time !!!

Sorry for that. I'm very disapointed my self but at least I can take confort in the fact that my notes were detailed enough that I got positive id replies from a couple of friends.

The bird was listed of as an Imperial but until I see the species again I'm not ticking it.

Thanks for your reply and sorry for not getting a shot, even a distant one could have helped with the jizz grr...

Cheers,

Dimi
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