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Lesser Spotted Eagle?


mvecht
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Hello

 

These pictures where taken in Botswana in September 2007.

The guide "gestimated" it to be a Lesser Spotted Eagle.

Can anyone comment on this?

post-5254-0-54672900-1423235650_thumb.jpg

post-5254-0-12255700-1423235725_thumb.jpg

 

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Towlersonsafari

Courtesy of the raptor guide of southern Africa I think it is a juvenile.

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Towlersonsafari

I thought that the white line between the flight feathers and underwing coverts and what I think are white undertail coverts however I am not an expert!

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For me the line isn't pronounced enough as a proper line (although I can see some white feathers, so I can see where you're coming from). I think it's the upper tail that should have a white crescent for Lesser Spotted Eagle.

 

I haven't seen Lesser Spotted Eagle myself, so my words should be taken with a grain of salt. I'd expect a more obviously barred tail and a more pronounced white bar on the underwing. The illustrations in my field guide don't show the dark streaks on the breast, and it shows a gape line to the rear of the eye.

 

Tawny eagle is notoriously variable. But my field guide also mentions the legs in Lesser Spotted appearing `unusually thin', and this bird seems to have pretty well-developed legs and talons.

 

Andrea

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Towlersonsafari

Yes my guidebook says "long thin looking stove pipe legs" For lesser spotted ! Are you happy about the eye colour for tawney eagle? Dull yellow or pale brown? I've never seen one either!

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Eye colour is fine for Tawny. I've seen plenty of those, just no Steppes.

 

Tawny eagles come in a lot of colour variations - in August I spent about half an hour staring at one in the Masai Mara which was very dark, and I thought it had to be something else. But it was a Tawny, confirmed also from photos I posted on a birding website.

 

I've certainly seen other Tawnies with light and dark feathers intermingled. I even have a bad photo of one somewhere.

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Towlersonsafari

those Tawney Eagles just won't stick to one colour scheme!-thanks for your help

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