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Raptor, Doğubeyazıt Turkey (1 Viewer)

Ratal

Well-known member
Okay, so five Gamekeepers on the estate I go to for Black throated Divers and Hen Harrier, all say that this isn't a Golden Eagle. I would not ever even consider GE for this bird.

That said, I will bow out - and wish folks well, as nothing could convince me that this short tailed aquila is a GE.
 

Biancone

to err is human
Looks like Golden Eagle to me. Barring on wings broad, well-spaced, a little erratic/obscure in places, barring in Steppe typically finer (more and narrower bars) and regular. Carpal patches not well-defined as in many Steppe. Wing shape and tail proportion good for GE.
 
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Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
I'm very surprised people even consider Steppe Eagle here, it didn't cross my mind before reading the comments. Tom clearly explained why it is a Golden Eagle and I can just fully agree.
 

Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
"fingers" can be used as reliable feature in one way : when total is ABOVE the number of fingers a species is supposed to show, you can exclude it. But when the total is lower, in means nothing. It is always possible than a flight feather of two are missing.

Looks this Golden Eagle from Scotland.

It shows only 6 long feathers...

1666131569455.png
 

Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
= 'fingers' - presumably - and, in your photo, it's clear which ones count. But often (eg, demonstrably, in the OP's photos), it isn't. So... again... how is 'finger' defined?
I'm not sure to understand the question. Practically, there's usually only one feather than can be a problem, in this case we have a short finger.

Look the example attached.

1666137860990.png
 

Butty

Well-known member
there's usually only one feather than can be a problem
Exactly - hence the problem - it is normally a difference of only 1 finger that makes or breaks an ID, so we have to know for sure whether each primary does or doesn't constitute a 'finger'. So... is the 'short finger' in #33 a 'finger' or not? - ie does that bird have 6 fingers or 7 fingers?
Again... how is 'finger' defined? Does 'short finger' need an additional definition?
 
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Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
Exactly - hence the problem - it is normally a difference of only 1 finger that makes or breaks an ID, so we have to know for sure whether each primary does or doesn't constitute a 'finger'. So... is the 'short finger' in #33 a 'finger' or not? - ie does that bird have 6 fingers or 7 fingers?
Again... how is 'finger' defined? Does 'short finger' need an additional definition?
See attached images, long 7th finger = Great Spotted Eagle, short = Lesser Spotted Eagle.
If length intermediate ? May be an hybrid...

1666155441619.png
 

Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
Interesting specific case - thanks. But doesn't answer my general question, I'm afraid.
May be your question is unlcear. We use "fingers" as a clue for identification of raptors. I'm showing you how to use it. In some cases, Red and Yellow-billed Kites (5 fingers) to Black Kite (6 fingers), counting is enough. In some other cases, such large eagles, you have a intermediate case with a short finger possibility.

I published a didactic paper about this. It is in French, but I think the photos with arrows should help you to see more clearly what we are talking about, especially the Red/black Kites comparison (named in Latin, Milvus milvus being the Red Kite and the other one the Black Kite). Yellow-billed and Black Kites are shown (respectively 5 and 6 fingers) too.
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
"L’identification des oiseaux super-facile !"
...Well, maybe...

It's an interesting point about yellow-billed kite. However, if I saw this I'd think there were 6 fingers:
ML204705501 Black Kite (Yellow-billed) Macaulay Library

The essential question is "when is a feather long enough (compared with others) to be considered a finger?" Different people and circumstances provide different answers. And then there's individual variation in the birds of course...
 
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Butty

Well-known member
Thanks for the link. But, again, that - and your reply - just describe specific ID examples, and the paper only defines 'fingers' as 'outer primaries', which doesn't help one to determine exactly which of the outer primaries is to be counted as a 'finger' in cases where it's not clear or where people have different opinions (as in the OP's photos). I have explained this carefully above - but never mind - we can leave it.
 

Valéry Schollaert

Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or s
"L’identification des oiseaux super-facile !"
...Well, maybe...
It doesn't mean identification of birsds is easy ; it is a list of articles about features that can be understood without experience, such counting "fingers", tail projection beyond wings or not, etc.

Easiest pages are the most successful in visibility. My website has 2000 pages, the most visited in 2022 is a comparison between flying Eurasian Sparrowhask and Common Kestrel...
 

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