Answer to Israel Raptor Quiz

Nice One!

To those who correctly guessed the four raptors. Same birds different photos below were, left to right:

Black Kite, Greater Spotted Eagle, Booted Eagle and Steppe Buzzard (click on photo below for bit bigger size)

All circling together! Actually its a big of a cheat because I had picked up the Greater Spotted Eagle and noticed that Black Kite and Steppe Buzzard were in same frame. It was only when ‘chimping’ the back of the camera I noticed the Booted Eagle sneak in the frame too. A jammy moment.

Bit more if interested in the ID from the photo:

Black Kite. the second commonest large raptor after the uncountable numbers of  Steppe Buzzards. Of course field ID easier than trying to identify from a single image, as the familiar shape soon emerges as the hang-dog wings circle around. Many birds here look ‘eastern’ with lineatus (Black-eared Kite) characters. The photo shows a bird with 6 ‘long primary fingers’ and familiar paler headed look of Black Kite.

Black Kite with ‘eastern character’s. Eilat March 2012

Greater Spotted Eagle

Needs a bit of practice, I got one misidentified Lesser Spotted early on the help with my learning! This bird in the quiz photo looked pretty dark overall and somehow a bit bigger and beefier (Lesser Spotted were seen more commonly) with heftier wing tip. All subtle and touchy feely. More specifically the underwing coverts are clearly darker (even blackish) compared to paler underside of flight feathers and there is only ONE obvious white arc  and base of primaries (not two) = Greater Spotted.

Here’s a pale Lesser Spotted Eagle that Yoav and I had fun with (carry little bit of green ferny stuff in bill):

Lesser Spotted Eagle, Yotvata, Israel, March 2012

and to compare, the other aquila eagle sp., Steppe Eagle. Actually most of these we saw were immatures with more massive size and obvious pale panel through centre of underwing.

immature Steppe Eagle with Steppe Buzzards, Eilat mountains, March 2o12

Booted Eagle

The one that sneaked on. Notable  square tail, pale inner primaries and especially the headlights (little pale patches either side of the head)- sorry, but latter not visible in first pic

Steppe Buzzard

The right hand most bird, a bit paler than some and no big dark carpals as in Long-legged Buzzard.

here’s another ‘vulpinus‘ from Yotvata in March 2012 (I didn’t tire of these):


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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