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A.Nisus or A.gentilis NELondon ?

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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 09:25   #1
KenM
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A.Nisus or A.gentilis NELondon ?

Unfortunately not the best shot this am.

Cheers
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 10:39   #2
Jean FRANCOIS
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Impossible to say. Possibly a Goshawk.
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 12:09   #3
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Sparrowhawk for me.
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 15:44   #4
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Sparrowhawk for me.
Me too
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 16:48   #5
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I would tend towards Sparrowhawk too. Not much to work off of in the photos, but I noticed two things.

1. Underpart color and pattern seems wrong for either age of Goshawk. This is probably the weaker of the two points considering lighting on the trees is also quite warm.

2. I have limited personal experience with Goshawk, but from the few I've seen and from pictures Goshawk often shows a tail that's almost "wedge-shaped" when folded, a more subtle but similar shape to Raven tails. In Ken's first photo I see a squared-off tail, even with the photo's blurriness.
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 19:11   #6
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It’s a bulky bird but a Gos with its wings this far swept back would show a more narrow hand imo, the hips look narrow to me and the wings too short and the tail too long - A female Sparrowhawk for me but its not an easy image.

(You’ll have to come up to Norfolk to get your eye in - there is no mistaking a Sparrowhawk for a Goshawk in the field after a bit of practice!)
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 19:12   #7
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Regarding tail shape, here are some shots of A.gentilis...squared, tapered and rounded, clearly tails can't be set to a single shape as this would reduce the bird's aerial movement somewhat.

The subject bird, it was a....''now you see it, now you don't'' scenario spanning just a few seconds. My impression was that it looked ''not insubstantial'' between lower chest and UTC's?

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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 19:28   #8
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Originally Posted by Jean FRANCOIS View Post
Impossible to say. Possibly a Goshawk.
Jean
I wouldn't rule Gos out, deep chested, broad winged and seemingly 'capped'?
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 19:29   #9
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I agree re the ‘rounded’ tail criteria - I’ve never found that particularly helpful (or needed to as for me other features are more easily seen) Your first image has the classic gizz of a Gos for me with a pointed hand, relatively short tapered tail (ie narrower at the distal end) and broad hips (ie not fluffy utc’s which sometimes gives Female Sparrowhawk a misleading broad hip shape. I’m not 100% on the OP but structurely nothing rules out Sparrowhawk which would be much more likely in the location imo

just to be clear the ‘first image’ I was referring to here as having a classic Gos gizz is the first of the second batch of images not the OP!
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Old Wednesday 4th December 2019, 19:35   #10
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I see a lot of goshawks. Still can't id this with certainty, but the tail do looks long and square cut at the end.

Just to comment the previous post - I think the square tail is very helpful in the field, and you can often see it from very far, although there are of course other features that sometimes is easier to see, it depends.

Last edited by Sweden : Wednesday 4th December 2019 at 19:39.
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 14:40   #11
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Long tail & small head in first images suggest Sparrowhawk to me. Image quality doesn't give useful info on colour or pattern. Nothing conclusive for Gos IMO. Of course the second birds are unmistakable! Never could quite understand emphasis on nuances of tail shape because it varies so much with mode of flight (although the tapered appearance of closed tail in first of the second batch is classic Gos).
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 18:00   #12
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Quote:
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Long tail & small head in first images suggest Sparrowhawk to me. Image quality doesn't give useful info on colour or pattern. Nothing conclusive for Gos IMO. Of course the second birds are unmistakable! Never could quite understand emphasis on nuances of tail shape because it varies so much with mode of flight (although the tapered appearance of closed tail in first of the second batch is classic Gos).
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.....it appears Brian, that gentilis is not alone with the ''tail tapering''
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 18:28   #13
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A tapering tale

(I find that in real life, Goshawks just move differently and as already mentioned, hardly incite thoughts of Sprawks).
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 18:30   #14
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.....it appears Brian, that gentilis is not alone with the ''tail tapering''

The ‘tapered’ shape of a Gos’s tail (in the meaning I used it above) is referring to the proximal width of the tail base (excluding utcs) compared to the distal width measured as from the two outer tail feathers (the widest part of the end of the tail). A Goshawk’s tail is wider at the base and narrower at the distal end - In Sparrowhawk it’s the other way round, narrower at the base, wider at the distal end. Hence, Goshawk have a slightly tapered tail shape.

From a side view, this can’t really be assessed - only from above or below like the first of your suite of Gos images. (or on a good view of a perched bird)

This is different to the ‘rounded tail’ people refer to which is the shape caused by the outer retrices being noticeably shorter than the inner ones as in Goshawk, not in Sparrowhawk.

At least that’s how Ive always understood it.
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 18:38   #15
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Nice explanation Deb (especially after my feeble input ).

I've come to the conclusion that the "traditional" Sparrowhawk/Goshawk ID difficulties are really down to the impossible conundrum of separating Sparrowhawk from wannabe Goshawks.

All the same, what is Birdforum without Ken's tricky Sparrowhawk photos?
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 18:43   #16
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All the same, what is Birdforum without Ken's tricky Sparrowhawk photos?
I think just for keeping us on our toes, ( eh Ken ?)
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 19:22   #17
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Nice explanation Deb (especially after my feeble input ).

I've come to the conclusion that the "traditional" Sparrowhawk/Goshawk ID difficulties are really down to the impossible conundrum of separating Sparrowhawk from wannabe Goshawks.

All the same, what is Birdforum without Ken's tricky Sparrowhawk photos?
Yeah, you'd think he'd know what they look like by now..........
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 20:42   #18
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.....it appears Brian, that gentilis is not alone with the ''tail tapering''
Ken, guess I expressed myself clumsily! I didn't mean that a tapered tail was unique to Goshawk, simply that the tapered tail shape of the first bird in your 2nd batch contributes a lot to the unmistakable classic look of a Goshawk in your evocative image.
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 21:09   #19
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Yeah, you'd think he'd know what they look like by now..........
One thing for sure Andy, I know when I’ve got a “flying” Accipiter, classic female Gos v (small) male Sprawks...a doddle!

However it’s the “in-betweenies” that can often be problematic, particularly if it’s a silhouetted profile at c200m of “now-you-see-it...now-you-don’t”......gone!

Generally speaking (for Accipiters) if it appears to have “bulk” then you should be on to a winner.....fingers x’d.

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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 22:13   #20
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One thing for sure Andy, I know when I’ve got a “flying” Accipiter, classic female Gos v (small) male Sprawks...a doddle!

However it’s the “in-betweenies” that can often be problematic, particularly if it’s a silhouetted profile at c200m of “now-you-see-it...now-you-don’t”......gone!

Generally speaking (for Accipiters) if it appears to have “bulk” then you should be on to a winner.....fingers x’d.

Cheers
Ken, when I've seen definite Gos on my patch in Russia, there is just no doubting.
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 23:06   #21
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Ken, when I've seen definite Gos on my patch in Russia, there is just no doubting.


.......can't resist a challenge....from my patch
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 23:25   #22
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Red-necked Terrapin?
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Old Thursday 5th December 2019, 23:38   #23
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Yes i'd agree the latest pic is definitely a turtle or suchlike, and i hope it didn't come to any harm. The original pic in post #1 is a female Sprawk. And as has been well put by others, on a decent view the 2 species are generally readily separable, by bulk and jizz.
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Old Yesterday, 00:35   #24
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Red-necked Terrapin?
Suggests there's a Lammergeier around. You didn't also see a Greek chappie named Aeschylus there, by any chance?
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Old Yesterday, 08:37   #25
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Red-necked Terrapin?
Would be a good comparison, almost a flying contortionist!....not only that, but also managing to compact itself to the point of looking smaller than the accompanying Corvid, when it's actually somewhat bigger than.

Another point that I missed (just as well I didn't take up Birding), on the 2nd image original pics, assuming of course that it's not a pixel aberration!....when enlarged! it appears to be wearing a set of size 10's.

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