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Raptor ID Cape Town


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PeterHG

This bird of prey was spotted over Fishhook, near Cape Town last February. In my view it is some sort of Goshawk, possibly a melanistic form. Compared to the Red-winged Starling in the picture it is quite large. That probably rules out the Gabar Goshawk. So could it be an African Goshawk or a Black Sparrowhawk? The size points to the latter, but I am unsure. Thanks for any help!

Peter

 

7D2_2033-L.jpg

 

7D2_2036-L.jpg

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Tdgraves

looks like a black harrier to me @PeterHG (not that I've seen one!)

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PeterHG

looks like a black harrier to me @PeterHG (not that I've seen one!)

 

Thanks for the input @@Tdgraves! I don't know about the harrier, though. It is certainly dark, but it, but it lacks the white rump.

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Peter Connan

Marsh harrier maybe?

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PeterHG

Marsh harrier maybe?

Thanks Peter, I'll have a closer look at the harriers.

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Geoff

I think @@Peter Connan is right. Another vote for Marsh harrier. Also the wing shape (2nd image) doesn't look right for a Black Sparrowhawk.

 

Do you have any other pics?

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PeterHG

Thanks @@Geoff! No, I don't have any more pics, but I'll gladly put it down as a Marsh Harrier.

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mvecht

Hi guys

 

I am not quite happy with the wing shape for a Marsh Harrier.

I would expect longer and narrower wings as well as some darker wing tips.

However I am at a loss to suggest a different species.

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PeterHG

Hi guys

 

I am not quite happy with the wing shape for a Marsh Harrier.

I would expect longer and narrower wings as well as some darker wing tips.

However I am at a loss to suggest a different species.

 

Thanks also for joining the discussion @@mvecht! It appears I'm not the only one with ID doubts for this one....

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offshorebirder

@@PeterHG - I have no doubts as to the ID of your bird.

 

It is an African Goshawk. The bold yellow-orange eye ring, yellowish bill with dark tip, tail bands, broad wings, etc. cinch the ID.

 

I think what may be throwing @@Tdgraves, @@Geoff, and @@Peter Connan is that your photos do not show the bird's underside. Rare to have flight photos of African Goshawk not showing underside...

 

Check this photo of an African Goshawk:

 

http://africanraptor.co.za/?gallery=african-goshawk-3

 

Check this YouTube video and pause it close to a minute in:

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HYGz32iv1vw

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PeterHG

@@PeterHG - I have no doubts as to the ID of your bird.

 

It is an African Goshawk. The bold yellow-orange eye ring, yellowish bill with dark tip, tail bands, broad wings, etc. cinch the ID.

 

I think what may be throwing @@Tdgraves, @@Geoff, and @@Peter Connan is that your photos do not show the bird's underside. Rare to have flight photos of African Goshawk not showing underside...

 

Check this photo of an African Goshawk:

 

http://africanraptor.co.za/?gallery=african-goshawk-3

 

Check this YouTube video and pause it close to a minute in:

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HYGz32iv1vw

 

Many thanks for your explanation and the links. @@offshorebirder! After looking at both I have to agree with you to switch from harrier to African Goshawk. It's pity I did not get a shot of the underside, but from what I remember the way it flew reminded me straight away of some kind of hawk.

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