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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Weird looking mystery bird (1 Viewer)


New member
United States
Hello, I've been sitting on this for too long and it needs some new eyeballs to have a look at it.


Where: Sellersville, Pennsylvania. When: 5/12/2020 Size: this was a large bird and we think it was something in the range of a large hawk, eagle, cormorant. Not knowing which species it was made it difficult to dial in the size but this was definitely not smaller than a large hawk.
Context: I live in the woods. It circled my house and over our heads once or maybe a few times, hard to recall, but it gave me enough time to fire off a few shots and a video. Unfortunately I was still learning how to use my new Nikon P1000 (long-time Canon dslr user) so the zoom, focus and exposure could've been better.

A chimera of a bird. The neck is long, the head is flat and/or seems to end abruptly, the wings have unique dimensions as does the tail and its flight is bizarre.
I've searched North/South America for a fit to no avail.

Had to split the video in 2 parts. Second half is less shaky.
First half Second half

The images at the top are cropped versions and the others below are uncropped lightly-edited versions from the original RAW files.

Focal lengths are 35mm full frame equivalents
file *1819 = 42.2mm
*1820 = 180mm
*1821 = 252mm
*1823 = 117mm
*1824 = 135mm
*1826 = 66.5mm
*1827 = 66.5mm


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My first impression was "crow with something in its beak", but on second thought, raven is a much better fit for the tail shape. It's a pleasant surprise when the viewer's impression of size turns out to be roughly correct.

I don't think I've ever seen a hawk or eagle to carrying anything in its beak -- they like to use their talons instead.
Definitely a raven - tail shape is diagnostic on its own, but relatively short and broad but deeply "fingered" wings are also a strong ID point.

The "neck" you're seeing is its bill, and the "head" is some sort of roundish object (presumably a food item) that it's carrying. Corvids carry things with their bills, not talons.
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