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Bird ID (Spain) (1 Viewer)

SLopezM

Sergio López Martín
Hello everyone. I saw this bird early this morning in Ávila (Spain). It was very far away, so this was the best picture I could take. The area includes pine trees, rock cliffs, vineyards and water bodies. The bird seemed to be medium size (although it was difficult to tell due to the distance): in my opinion, the size was similar to some Falco bird. However, don't consider this as a very realiable information, since I am not totally sure about it.
 

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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Difficult to safely put an identification to I'm afraid. Could even be a red necked nightjar going to roost.
 

foresttwitcher

Virtually unknown member
United Kingdom
That was my thought from the thumbnail, Pat, but I did not respond before as I could not see that for the enlarged photo!
 

SLopezM

Sergio López Martín
I guess knowing the species will be almost impossible, but I hope it is possible to classify it in a genus, family, etc.

The bird was seen flying far from the floor. It made some big circles in the air and then disappeared (I don't know if it landed or flew away: I lost it while taking the picture).

Some other people have told me it looks like an Accipiter bird, although I am not sure about that.
 

ryckfour

Well-known member
Marsh harrier was my first impression but the image is really impossible to identify with any confidence
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
I'm with the 'impossible to tell group' but I'd suggest that the apparent tail length rules out Buzzard (of any sort)
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Depends on your take on cirtensis and then Gibraltar Buzzard.

which are also known as the ‘Atlas’ Long-legged Buzzards of North Africa so cirtensis are a subspecies of Buteo rufinus not vulpinus. There are no proven records of Steppe Buzzard (vulpinus (which are considered to be the eastern form of Common Buzzard) in Spain afaik, even though the plumages can be similar between the taxon and there are contact zones between all the ranges (‘Gibralter Buzzard’ would be (if truly hybrids) buteo x cirtensis
 

stevethehydra

Well-known member
Sorry for my inaccurate use of vulpinus then - that's what I thought the smallish, rufous-toned buzzards in Spain were! I would definitely consider them to be much more like Common/Steppe types than Long-legged in size and structure.
 

Hotspur

James Spencer
United Kingdom
which are also known as the ‘Atlas’ Long-legged Buzzards of North Africa so cirtensis are a subspecies of Buteo rufinus not vulpinus. There are no proven records of Steppe Buzzard (vulpinus (which are considered to be the eastern form of Common Buzzard) in Spain afaik, even though the plumages can be similar between the taxon and there are contact zones between all the ranges (‘Gibralter Buzzard’ would be (if truly hybrids) buteo x cirtensis

Except cirtensis is considered closer to vulpinus than rufinus and in need taxonomic revision. Dick Forsmann also considers Gibraltar buzzards to show features intermediate to cirtensis and vulpinus. Go figure!
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
. Go figure!

Indeed, there are difficulties separating Atlas LLB from some Steppe plumages but the N.African LLBs are also highly variable and apparently afaik, can in turn be almost inseparable in some plumages from the Asian LLBs, so it’s not just a case of ‘lets lump’ cirtensis with vulpinus - if it were that simple! ;) The whole lot needs revising - don’t start me on refectus/burmanicus/japonicus! The problem I find with Buteos imo especially vulpinus and buteos is they don’t lend themselves at all well to defined phenotypes unless at the typical ends of a scale (can anyone actually define what a vulpinus is!) which leaves most of us in a pickle when it comes to field identification. There are structural differences but I personally find that really hard to recognise at times (well actually a great deal of the time). It doesn’t help, that subsp are also are highly sympatric (and proven to interbreed) in contact zones as well as being both migratory and sedentary.
 
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John Cantelo

Well-known member
As I understand it recent DNA studies show that North African Buzzards cirtensis are most closely related to Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) not Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) and should be treated as a race of the former. So if they are 'lumped' it is with Buteo buteo rather than Buteo buteo vulpinus unless one regards the latter as a full species.

De Juana & Garcia's 'Birds of the Iberian Peninsula' says that Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus) 'occur in Spain on passage, with occasional records south to the Straits. This form is identified at the Pyrenean passes in autumn more or less annually and represents about 1.3% of the passage at Orgambidexka and continues that 'Bernis recorded 61 birds in 1972, 28 in 1976 and 16 in 1977 on southward passage at the Strait' but 'queried whether the birds were genuinely vulpinus ..." or local birds. The latter now seems much more likely. As always I am happy to be corrected on these points since I'm no taxonomist.
 

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