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Need to confirm the ID's of these 3 birds (1 Viewer)

Ains

Well-known member
Today snapped three bird high up Snaps not too clear as the day was overcast. In the photograph, Left top corner seems it's a Steppe Eagle, on the right above Eurasian Griffon and below Indian vulture?
Location Mount Abu Raj. India.
Taken today, 15 Nov 2020.
I have added a few more individual snaps to hope these help in the identification of these birds.
Appreciate the help offered on this forum
Ains
 

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Agree with Steppe but the middle vulture (at least) looks to be better imo perhaps for a juvenile Himalayan G.himalayensis than a vulvus but I’ve no experience separating Himalayan from Long-billed Vulture (‘Indian’ G. indicus) so hopefully a more expert eye can help?

Comments refer only to image# 1 - extra images of single bird added subsequently
 
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Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Agree with Steppe but the middle vulture (at least) looks to be better imo perhaps for a juvenile Himalayan G.himalayensis than a vulvus but I’ve no experience separating Himalayan from Long-billed Vulture (‘Indian’ G. indicus) so hopefully a more expert eye can help?

Himalayan Griffon is out of range. Eurasian Griffon is in range though...
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Tbh Larry, I wouldn’t know how to begin to separate these on these images - (I just felt the underwing looked rather dark for a imm E.Griffon and possibly too broad-winged - the white covert area usually extends to the carpal area and the underbody of a Griffon at any age is more concolourous and buff/yellowish mid-brown contrasting with the darker remiges. I’m having difficulty seeing that plumage combination here. Himalayan is just another possibility to consider is all!)

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=865&Bird_Image_ID=186704

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=865&Bird_Image_ID=153912

Eurasian
http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=863&Bird_Image_ID=189367
http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=863&Bird_Image_ID=188490
http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=863&Bird_Image_ID=83951
 
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Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Why isn't the centre bird a Black (Cinereous) Vulture? Both overall darkness and the shape look right to me. And it is in range.

Steve
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
I reckon we could rule out Cinereous on the underwing pattern and obvious bulging secondaries - Wouldn’t we expect dark underwing coverts to contrast with paler remiges in an image such as this without such an obvious covert bar?

Just falling back now on Forsman - Flight Identification 2016 p179

Himalayan : “Breeds in the high mountains of interior Asia, but immatures in particular roam widely, reaching further South on the Indian sub-continent during post-breeding dispersal.”

“immatures are clearly darker and duller brown than Eurasian Griffon, with contrasting broad white streaking to the body plumage.” “In direct comparison, immature Himalayans (differ from Eurasian Griffon) by their larger size, broader and more rectangular wings and their duller and darker brown plumage with .... a short but distinct light band in the patagium and another less well-defined but wider light band in the median underwing coverts”


How all that compares with Indian (indicus) or even bengalensis I don’t know but it doesn’t really favor Eurasian imo.

Long-billed (Indian) Vulture

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=844&Bird_Image_ID=125771

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=844&Bird_Image_ID=88535

White-rumped

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=872&Bird_Image_ID=131215


However, rather than a lot of guessing or googling, it’s better to wait for someone who has field experience in separating these specifically Asian sp of vultures from each other as the confusion risks seem high!
 
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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I reckon we could rule out Cinereous on the underwing pattern - Wouldn’t we expect dark underwing coverts to contrast with paler remiges in an image such as this without such an obvious covert bar?

Not according to the images in Birds of India. Given that this is the only thing I can say, I probably should stay out if it; but the pattern in Black (Cinereous) is shown as a weaker contrasting version of a young Himalayan.

Niels
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
I agree it's not cinereous/black. I assume it's just the angle that makes the centre bird's wings appear very deep / wide?

[Probably just my faulty memory but they seem more so than the various griffons I've seen. Made me wonder if it's something I'm completely unfamiliar with like red-headed. But it's not that...]
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
I
. I assume it's just the angle that makes the centre bird's wings appear very deep / wide? ...

[Probably just my faulty memory but they seem more so than the various griffons I've seen. Made me wonder if it's something I'm completely unfamiliar with like red-headed. But it's not that...]

I agree but I am not sure it is the angle - they do look very broad/deep and square handed and the bird in general looks particularly large - that’s why structurally I think this suggests something other than an Eurasian Griffon - it also looks to have a really small head (I mean even for a Griffon sp!). If it was just the ‘impression of structure’ from one/two images, perhaps not such an issue because photos can ‘lie’ but that and what’s apparent of the underpart plumage makes me doubt this is an Eurasian Griffon but possibly an immature Himalayan (or something - what about imm. bengalensis too!?)

Thanks Rafael - that was really helpful ;)

I’m hoping Tom or one of the Asian based members can step on here as I do believe the centre bird is IDable -
@Ains - do you have anymore images please?
 
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Muppit17

Well-known member
I agree but I am not sure it is the angle - they do look very broad/deep and square handed and the bird in general looks particularly large - that’s why structurally I think this suggests something other than an Eurasian Griffon - it also looks to have a really small head (I mean even for a Griffon sp!). If it was just the ‘impression of structure’ from one/two images, perhaps not such an issue because photos can ‘lie’ but that and what’s apparent of the underpart plumage makes me doubt this is an Eurasian Griffon but possibly an immature Himalayan (or something - what about imm. bengalensis too!?)

Sorry, I'm not the asian specialist that you are looking for. I have travelled widely in India and also Nepal and Bhutan and also familiar with Eurasian Vultures.

I agree that these look like Gyps and I think we are all agreed that the lowest is Indian.

What surprised me is the structure and the size of the middle bird looks about the same. This is obviously dangerous in a photo as the relative distance to the two birds is very difficult to tell and this impacts the relative size in the photo.

However, of the four - Himalayan is the biggest, Eurasian the next biggest, then Long-billed/Indian and finally, White-rumped (bengalensis) the smallest. From experience in the field they can be divided in big and small and the two big (Himalayan and Eurasian) are almost 20% bigger than the small pair - and this is visible.

I agree with Deb, that the colour pattern is wrong for Eurasian Griffon - lacking any of the rich rufous I would expect. But it does match with Himalayan and White-rumped. Obviously White-rumped is critically endangered, but there are some records this year in the area on e-Bird. However, given the apparent lack of size this appears to be a potential better fit than Himalayan?
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
What surprised me is the structure and the size of the middle bird looks about the same. This is obviously dangerous in a photo as the relative distance to the two birds is very difficult to tell and this impacts the relative size in the photo.

However, of the four - Himalayan is the biggest, Eurasian the next biggest, then Long-billed/Indian and finally, White-rumped (bengalensis) the smallest.

I agree with Deb, that the colour pattern is wrong for Eurasian Griffon - But it does match with Himalayan and White-rumped... Obviously White-rumped is critically endangered, but there are some records this year in the area on e-Bird. However, given the apparent lack of size this appears to be a potential better fit than Himalayan?

Thanks Muppit - I ended up with either of these too.

I am surprised re. your impression of size from these images though - mine was almost the opposite! :-O I thought the middle Gyp looked slightly larger in the body and broader winged than the one below (although part of that could be to do with shape and/or color - juv/imm raptors often have broader wings). I wonder how accurately we can judge size and distance from these photos? - I checked wiki (I’m afraid that’s all I have to hand at the moment) and the smallest Himalayan is apparently only 3cm longer in the wing (at 29.7) than the largest White-rumped at 26cm. Also Himalayan is only 3.6cm longer in the body. This doesn’t give much scope for differentiation in photos of soaring birds! Of course this is wiki so I’m not sure how accurate these are?
 
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andyb39

Well-known member
Which birds from the original image are shown in the 4 new images?

Re the original image, I was also thinking of Himalayan for the bird above and Indian for the one below. I can't see what else the bird above could be - a very bulky body with very broad wings, and, it seems, 8 "fingers" or visible primaries showing. Indian is a little more narrow-winged and definitely only shows 7, which seems to match the bird below.

Himalayan wanders a lot and has even reached Singapore a few times!
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Which birds from the original image are shown in the 4 new images?

Hi Andy, all the 4 new images are of the immature/juvenile Gyp - the bird in the centre of the first image (with Steppe Eagle on top and Long-billed (Indian) (G.indicus) below.). The bird you are commenting on is the middle bird!

Confusingly! the OP has just added more images to post #1 and removed one of the original ones, which showed all 3 together.

Btw I am really pleased you have the experience (that I lack!) to help evaluate these images on structure - the underwing pattern for White-rumped and Himalayan are too similar in juv/imm. plumages to make a definitive ID based on plumage alone with these less than very clear images.

I commented earlier when looking at this ? OP, that structurally the head seemed really small cf to eg Eurasian. I’ve just been reading some of Forsman’s notes (Flight ID, 2016 p182) and under plate 292 of a juvenile Himalayan, (which I can’t separate from the OP image btw) he notes:

“The size of the head is about the same as in Eurasian Griffon, but because the Himalayan Griffon is overall clearly larger, it looks conspicuously small-headed for its size”

I also think (subjectively?) the OP has a more ample hand than the images I have looked at for White-rumped?
 
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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
I have shown the middle and the last bird in the additional images.

Adding then taking away images by editing your initial post has made the thread become a little confusing Ains because it is now unclear what people’s comments are referring to. The 4th image you newly uploaded looks to be a different individual than the one we are discussing (ie. image now as #5 in the sequence)

Can you please, in a brand new post (not editing the first), just re-upload 1 or 2 of the images of the middle bird [only) and any more new images where all three birds or both the Indian and unidentified bird are in the same shot together? Sorry to ask but it would be more helpful I think.
 
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