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Honey Buzzards (1 Viewer)

GeorginaEgypt

Well-known member
This poor quality photograph I took yesterday as around 40 Honey Buzzards migrated south over the Red Sea Coast of Egypt.

It is a juvenile but seems to have been through a shredder.

Any ideas as to why the wings are damaged please? Birding friends here seem to think it is gunshots over Europe?!?

Honey Buzzard Juvenile shredded 11.9.2019.jpg
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
The pattern of missing feathers seem to be identical on both wings and also the tail, my initial thought then being this is due to an active moult by the bird. Unusual to see this whilst on its migration - thankfully an individual that so far has escaped the guns throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
It is fairly even but then again so is the scatter of a decent shotgun - for me it looks like ‘flak’ damage. Fortunately the sound of shotguns here in Sakhalvasho, Georgia, has been mercifully reducing year on year due to enforced existing legislation, education and ecotourism but it is by and large a Christian country.....

Good birding -

Laurie:t:
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
It is fairly even but then again so is the scatter of a decent shotgun - for me it looks like ‘flak’ damage.
Good birding -

Laurie:t:

If a decent shotgun with an even pattern had caused the visible damage on both sides of the body of that Honey Buzzard it would have been Missing In Action.

I don't approve of shooting raptors either but come on. That bird is in moult.

John
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
I have seen hundreds over the last few days none of which are missing a single feather so either it is an aberrant moulting individual , ill or with some sort of ectoparasite then something has caused that?

Laurie -
 

crapbirder

Well-known member
Re. Honey Buzzard.

Anyone else seen such a bird, just about every potential option on display for the state of the plumage.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
I have seen hundreds over the last few days none of which are missing a single feather so either it is an aberrant moulting individual , ill or with some sort of ectoparasite then something has caused that?

Laurie -
Looks very pale to me - wonder if it is leucistic, with the leucism leading to reduced feather durability and faster wear?
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
Could be - seen loads yesterday not a feather moulting or missing on any of them.

I am not a moult expert but afaik raptors moult individual flight feathers so that they are able to feed and function whilst doing so unlike waterfowl that eclipse and warblers that have pre and post migration moult. To actively have a moult regime as suggested would almost lead to the bird having difficulty to either moult or migrate...

Laurie -
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Could be - seen loads yesterday not a feather moulting or missing on any of them.

I am not a moult expert but afaik raptors moult individual flight feathers so that they are able to feed and function whilst doing so unlike waterfowl that eclipse and warblers that have pre and post migration moult. To actively have a moult regime as suggested would almost lead to the bird having difficulty to either moult or migrate...

Laurie -

Looking again at the feathers a parasite snipping off barbs looks like a real possibility - those secondaries look defoliated, not twisted.

John
 

Dimitris

Birdwatcher in Oz
I have seen hundreds over the last few days none of which are missing a single feather so either it is an aberrant moulting individual , ill or with some sort of ectoparasite then something has caused that?

Laurie -

Having been to Georgia I too can confirm that this bird has been indeed shot. Georgians rifles and ammunition is often improvised and birds often 'escape' (to die later?) like this.
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
I disagree - a bird would have to be incredibly low and would almost certainly receive a fatal spray of pellets but i suppose we will never know...

Laurie:t:
 

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