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Is this a Short-toed Eagle or Beaudouin's Snake Eagle? (1 Viewer)

Steve G

RAINBIRDER
This picture was taken at Makasutu in The Gambia two weeks ago. The image shows a pale Circaetus Eagle which at first glance looks like the Eurasian Short-toed Eagle (C. gallicus). However the head has more of a complete dark hood rather than the usual bib, the lower chest/belly has complete clean barring without the typical broken bars & smudging of S-T Eagle, the wings are neatly barred & the tail has obvious well-defined bars. When the bird banked the upperparts seemed darker than I would expect on S-T Eagle. I have seen a fair number of S-T Eagles in Spain, France & Greece & feel that the enclosed image is of the recently split Beaudouin's Snake Eagle (Circaetus beaudouini) -a sub-Saharan african species.
Short-toed Eagles are also present in The Gambia, S-T Eagles are very variable in their appearance & I'm no expert so I would be grateful for any feedback before I hang a name on the image.
Cheers,
Steve :h?:
 

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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I dont know about the species designation, but I have seen one ST Eagle (in what at the time was Yoguslavia) with a hood as complete as this. Hope someone else can help you more

Niels
 

Bubbs

Well-known member
Steve G said:
This picture was taken at Makasutu in The Gambia two weeks ago. The image shows a pale Circaetus Eagle which at first glance looks like the Eurasian Short-toed Eagle (C. gallicus). However the head has more of a complete dark hood rather than the usual bib, the lower chest/belly has complete clean barring without the typical broken bars & smudging of S-T Eagle, the wings are neatly barred & the tail has obvious well-defined bars. When the bird banked the upperparts seemed darker than I would expect on S-T Eagle. I have seen a fair number of S-T Eagles in Spain, France & Greece & feel that the enclosed image is of the recently split Beaudouin's Snake Eagle (Circaetus beaudouini) -a sub-Saharan african species.
Short-toed Eagles are also present in The Gambia, S-T Eagles are very variable in their appearance & I'm no expert so I would be grateful for any feedback before I hang a name on the image.
Cheers,
Steve :h?:


This is a Beaudouin's Snake Eagle. I won't go in to the details because your description is brief but excellent.

BSE is quite different from STE given good flight views.


John.
 

Bubbs

Well-known member
This fine flight shot shows a BSE sporting a gular stripe (well it does on my screen) I have seen many a Honey Buzzard moving north through Eilat in the spring with gular stripes. I have yet to see this feature illustrated for HB's.


John.
 

Steve G

RAINBIRDER
Thanks for the feedback John. Apart from the description above the bird had a slightly different "feel" to it from STE. I had of course hoped it would prove to be a BSE but needed an unbiased & learned opinion before adding it to the trip list!
Many thanks,
Steve
 

Steve G

RAINBIRDER
Canon 1 D mk II + 500mm IS lens + 1.4x convertor handheld. The image was taken in the early afternoon so I had to overexpose by about 1 & a third stops to capture underside detail. The camera was set at ISO 400, f5.6 giving a shutter speed of 1/2000s which helped prevent any shake resulting from handholding such a heavy rig.

In the Gambia I found that heat-haze was the biggest problem in getting good raptor images. As expected with the larger raptors most action occurs when there are plenty of thermals, the heat-haze associated with this unfortunately spoils many potential images. We saw both Brown & Western Banded Snake Eagle but the images I took were useless. On my next Gambian trip I plan to go upriver where raptors are more frequent & the chances of coming across roosting birds is that much greater. The Gambia is however a brilliant place for raptors with a list of 30+ species being easily achievable (we managed 21 species without an upriver trip over 8 days of casual birding!).
 

Gordon

Registered User
Hi SteveG,
I've checked your other posts and the "Trip Reports" forum and couldn't find the up-to-date info I'm looking for.

Most trip reports don't give any info about day-today costs. We (my wife and I) are booked for the Gambia this November. I wonder if you could post a few details as to actual costs of, for example, food and drink, taxi's and guides. Any other info would be much appreciated.

I'm looking forward to, in my case, many ID challenges.

Many thanks in advance
Gordon
 

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