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Circus pygargus - Portugal, 5th may 2021 (1 Viewer)

lou salomon

the birdonist
i agree on 2cy Montagu's Harrier, but - question: couldn't it be a male? i know most 2cy males look more advanced (with a grey hood etc. at this time of year), but it has pale irides and in Forsman it says, that such whitish based p7-10 usually is found in (1st plumaged) males.


Well-known member
To me this is a 2nd cy Montagu's Harrier, probably female. Mainly due to the irregularly patterned outer primaries and dark trailing edge to inner primaries...
I can’t see a dark trailing edge to inner primaries?
Irregularly patterned outers could equally be applicable to Pallid?
What’s more, there appears to be more of a pale collar on this bird than might be expected on Montagu’s?



Well-known member
I'd expect the pale collar to be more pronounced in a 2cy Pallid. I admitt the dark trailing edge to inner primaries could be more distinct but it's too dark for Pallid I guess...

As for the pale iris, Lou is right. I was focussing on only the one pic where the colour of the iris wasn't really assessable. On the other it's clearly pale so I'd agree with 2cy male.


Well-known member
I think 2cy Montagu's Harrier too.
Dark fingers of immature and neatly barred axillaries (almost diagnostic) are both features of pygargus, and collar is also present in juv / imm of this species often quoted to be "large but irregular and incomplete" especially on the higher neck, like in these photographs...

ciao, Igor Festari


Uncomfortably Numb.
I’m no expert on these two sometimes difficult species pair but I’d say it’s a Montagues. In the second pic showing the upper parts you can see a dark line on the secondaries which is better for Monty’s & the auxiliaries are barred which I believe fits Monty’s better.
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