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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

2cy Falco sp. - Hobby or Eleonora's? - Bulgaria (1 Viewer)

Todoroki

Member
Hello everyone,

we got this cool falcon today but couldn't ID it conclusively - right now we're stuck between Hobby 2cy and Eleonora's 2cy, with characters pointing towards both. While searching for the ID we kind of found out identification of the birds in this age group isn't really easy and we would be glad for any help and opinions from people with more experience than us. Thanks a lot in advance!!

Location is Sofia, 06.08.2021, which would be untypical for Eleonora's. Eye ring was wide and grey, pointing towards it, together with larger size (as far as we could judge), obvious rufous in tail, white on tertials. Head marking is of Hobby though and seeing how variable the two species can be we thought best to check with experts.

Cheers,
Teo
 

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Butty

Well-known member
Thing is... it has/they have face-pattern which is right for hobby (upward extension of white to rear of ear-coverts) and wrong for Eleonora's falcon.
 

Todoroki

Member
Thing is... it has/they have face-pattern which is right for hobby (upward extension of white to rear of ear-coverts) and wrong for Eleonora's falcon.
Exactly, but then we found this ID-ed bird here (Eleonora’s Falcon. 2cy.), which has practically the same pattern, and we went back to the drawing board. I don't have any experience with the moult these two species go through in their second year, so I thought best to ask.
 

Todoroki

Member
Thanks everyone, after I read the paper it does tip towards Eleonora's! If someone else sees the bird again I'll check if they made better photos and post them here.

Cheers
Teo
 

Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
I think I see reddish feathers down near where they should be in Hobby. Further, isn't Eleanora's dirty brown in juv, rusty brown all over in adult male on the chest?
Eleanora's were not on the Bulgaria list in 2015 when I visited the country, or on avibase today.
 

Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Down at the belly and undertail coverts? Like in Eleonora's and Hobby?
Yes , but doesn't the Eleanora's rusty feather extend upwards, whereas in photo 7 they are limited, more like Hobby? If it is an Eleanora's, it should be reported to the Bulgarian Birding authorities? I don't know how to contact them.
 

tconzemi

Tom
Supporter
Europe
Yes , but doesn't the Eleanora's rusty feather extend upwards, whereas in photo 7 they are limited, more like Hobby?
Andy, these second cal year birds are extremely variable in body moult and can look strange at moments. And sec cal year Hobby and Eleonora's is a pitfall and not straightforward at all, you need to look at all the characters
 

Scridifer

Registered User
Supporter
Bulgaria
I think I see reddish feathers down near where they should be in Hobby. Further, isn't Eleanora's dirty brown in juv, rusty brown all over in adult male on the chest?
Eleanora's were not on the Bulgaria list in 2015 when I visited the country, or on avibase today.
Andy, Eleanora's is on the Bulgarian List as an accidental/irregular visitor with an average of fewer than 5 sightings per year. There have been a couple of sightings recently.

Chris
 

Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Andy, Eleanora's is on the Bulgarian List as an accidental/irregular visitor with an average of fewer than 5 sightings per year. There have been a couple of sightings recently.

Chris
Thanks Chris. I couldn't find it on Avibase.
 

Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Andy, these second cal year birds are extremely variable in body moult and can look strange at moments. And sec cal year Hobby and Eleonora's is a pitfall and not straightforward at all, you need to look at all the characters
Thanks very much Tom. With your input and that of Chris, I can now accept that Eleanora's is more probable than Hobby. In my own limited experience, I have photographed quite a few Eleanora's on Dragonera and Hobby in several countries, I have never seen an Eleanora's with such a pale upperbelly and chest. The concensus on this thread is leaning towards Eleanora's, which on this forum, tends to be a good indication of what's what.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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