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Oriental Honey Buzzard? S Thailand help pls (1 Viewer)

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Hi, I believe this photo, taken at about 10 am on Jan 30, 2020 in Southern Thailand, shows an Oriental Honey Buzzard. I am basing that on the tail pattern as well as the body and wing pattern, but primarily the tail pattern. I did note it has only 5 "fingers" but I am assuming that is because of the angle.
Am I correct or have I managed to wrongly id another bird:)?
thank you in advance for taking the time to look at this.
steve
 

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bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thank you, much appreciated. If I may ask, is there another raptor that it could possibly be and if so which one(s)?
thank you again
steve
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Thank you, much appreciated. If I may ask, is there another raptor that it could possibly be and if so which one(s)?
thank you again
steve
Hi Steve

It is certainly a OHB - note the underwing pattern (broad distinct bars on the flight feathers and broad tail band - indicating adult). Juveniles are similar to European Honey Buzzards but have broader wings/hand with 6 primary fingers and a shorter tail. Also OHB lack dark carpal patches. However, that’s not an issue in Thailand. They can be separated from buteos on structure. There’s not really anything else you risk confusing them and although the plumage is very variable, if you focus on structure - ie small head, eagle like proportions with long broad handed wing but with a comparatively long tail and 6 primary fingers you should be safe.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
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I am far from an expert, but I think I have seen

Crested Serpent-Eagle referred to as a confusion species (possibly more so for those who are not really great in local raptors)?

(The font changed when I copied some text in, cannot change it back)

Niels
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Crested Honey Buzzards mimic hawk eagles in the nisaetus genus so confusion is very possible with eg changeable hawk eagles, perhaps more so than a serpent eagle imo - but note the larger head, shorter wings, with bulging trailing edge and streaked breast of adults cf to the barred body of adult OHB
I suppose confusion risk depends largely on the observers experience. OHB have smaller heads and longer wings than nisaetus species (the ones I am aware of anyway) - serpent eagles a less likely confusion risk with much shorter tails, more bulky bodies and with larger heads than OHB :
juvenile serpent
 

Grahame Walbridge

Well-known member
Crested Honey Buzzards mimic hawk eagles in the nisaetus genus so confusion is very possible with eg changeable hawk eagles, perhaps more so than a serpent eagle imo - but note the larger head, shorter wings, with bulging trailing edge and streaked breast of adults cf to the barred body of adult OHB
I suppose confusion risk depends largely on the observers experience. OHB have smaller heads and longer wings than nisaetus species (the ones I am aware of anyway) - serpent eagles a less likely confusion risk with much shorter tails, more bulky bodies and with larger heads than OHB :
juvenile serpent
Deb, perhaps the most notable example is the 'tweedale' morph of ssp. torquatus (Malay peninsula, Sumatra & Borneo) which mimics Blyth's Hawk Eagle. A few examples below

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=896&Bird_Image_ID=141799 https://www.facebook.com/groups/singaporebirdgroup/permalink/702957566563923/
http://www.borneobirdimages.com/bird/oriental_honey_buzzard/7852

Grahame
 
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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Deb, perhaps the most notable example is the 'tweedale' morph of ssp. torquatus (Malay peninsula, Sumatra & Borneo) which mimics Blyth's Hawk Eagle. A few examples below
Thanks Grahame - a notable example! (I am not familiar with this morph or the ssp.)

Interestingly, it also mimics in adult plumage, the endemic Mountain Eagle in Borneo http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_Image_ID=26596&Bird_ID=840&Bird_Family_ID=&Location= and the wider ranging Crested Serpent Eagle - http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=838&Bird_Image_ID=172734 - are these the real ‘protecting’ apex predators in this mimicry? Niels is certainly correct, that from a distance (and ignoring structure!) this could be a real source of confusion (I think perhaps more inexperienced birders have a tendency anyway to primarily note plumage rather than structure when trying to identify unfamiliar raptors which comes with its own risks as the torquatus v Blyth’s example shows)
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thanks njlarsen. That is helpful as I will look at more photos of those two now, in hopes of mitigating any future confusion.
steve
 

bhutjoe

Well-known member
Thank you Deb and Graham for the rather extensive discussion. Very much appreciated. I hope to see more OHB but I also hope to see other raptors so being able to look for the differing characteristics is critical for proper ID. This discussion provides lots of info to study and hopefully apply in the field.
very much appreciated
steve
 

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