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Raptor ID - Kruger NP, South Africa

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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 17:35   #1
adamt123
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Raptor ID - Kruger NP, South Africa

Hi all,

I saw this raptor on 4th Jan in the northern Kruger park (H1-8).

At first glance I thought I may be juv. African hawk eagle, but the legs are unfeathered, so possibly juv. black sparrowhawk?

Thanks for looking

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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 18:25   #2
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Looks like a Buzzard to me, Steppe / Common?
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 19:03   #3
tconzemi
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no tail visible, no nostril visible, still get strong Honey Buzzard vibes here
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 19:35   #4
RafaelMatias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tconzemi View Post
no tail visible, no nostril visible, still get strong Honey Buzzard vibes here
Tom, I got the same impression, especially because I believe I can see the elongated nostril (Honey Buzzard) on the 1st pic, but as I couldn't confirm what I thought I was seeing I preferred not to comment. On a second look I think the nostril is indeed visible.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 23:13   #5
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thanks for your suggestions guys.

My bird guide for SA doesn't mention that an elongated nostril is a diagnostic feature of European honey buzzards - thanks for the new info.

I have attached another cropped picture of the same bird - it probably is an EHB as you have suggested.

I have also attached an image of another bird which I took in Kruger park two days earlier with the same slit nostril - is this a European honey buzzard?

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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 00:10   #6
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Based on the additional photo, I now agree with Andy that the first raptor is an immature Buteo (which species?); I was probably misinterpreting some feature on the bill cere as the nostril. The second (2nd photo on post #5) is a definite European Honey Buzzard (and here, yes, the elongated nostril is truly visible).
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 06:05   #7
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HB is pretty rare in SA.
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 06:36   #8
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OP is a strange bird, I do not see any nostril on the added pic but dark cere with some yellow freckles (as in 2nd winter HB), some elongated neck feathers, iris rather light and feet covered with mud as if used to excavate stuff, not straightforward anyway
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 09:20   #9
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thanks all for looking anyway

Regardless of the OP, I am well pleased with the other one being a honey buzzard - as Andy mentions, rarely seen in SA/Kruger.
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 11:49   #10
RafaelMatias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tconzemi View Post
OP is a strange bird, I do not see any nostril on the added pic but dark cere with some yellow freckles (as in 2nd winter HB), some elongated neck feathers, iris rather light and feet covered with mud as if used to excavate stuff, not straightforward anyway
What led me to change my mind was more the shape of the head, especially the loral area (not enlarged, as in HB) and shorter head, more triangular, not so elongated as in HB, also with a more robust bill.
The muddy feet could result from drinking at a muddy waterhole, perhaps.
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 19:08   #11
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Looks like a Buzzard to me, Steppe / Common?
The Sasol guide to southern África points "tear-shaped flank streaks" for the Forest Buzzard, so this can be a juvenile of this sp., as its jizz doesn't remind an Accipiter or Honey Buzzard to me.
No idea about the dark cere (dirt?)
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 20:06   #12
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Originally Posted by Tote View Post
The Sasol guide to southern África points "tear-shaped flank streaks" for the Forest Buzzard, so this can be a juvenile of this sp., as its jizz doesn't remind an Accipiter or Honey Buzzard to me.
No idea about the dark cere (dirt?)
Don't think there are records from Kruger, not sure habitat is right?
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 21:29   #13
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That was my guess for Adamt123 inquiry.
I know nothing about Kruger lists but distribution maps seem to reach the area.
Maybe the key is taxonomy and have been seen under Mountain buzzard or Common or whatever, I don't know.
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