Kirstenbosch raptor watching: any thoughts on this falcon?

While raptor watching at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on Saturday I snapped these poor images of a large falcon. It unfortunately did not hang around and was last seen heading south in the direction of Cecilia Forest. My suspicions, and the opinions of a couple of raptor experts, point towards Eleonora’s Falcon. Does anyone else perhaps have an opinion regarding its identification?

Falcon1 Kirstenbosch Jan 2011

Falcon2 Kirstenbosch Jan 2011

Falcon Kirstenbosch Jan 2011

David Winter

Assistance with identification of Tanzanian starling required

I received the following identification request from Geoff and Colleen Mullen, can anyone perhaps assist? They’ve also included a stork image, which I’m comfortable is an immature Saddle-billed.

Starling spp Geoff & Colleen Mullen

We have 3 different reference books here but cannot be sure of the exact ID of some birds.

Location: we are presently living in Tanzania, photos taken along the Katuma river – either at the river or on the Katisunga plains. The National Park is called KATAVI NATIONAL PARK and is slightly South West of Tanzania.

I have blown up the photos – so could be out of focus and tried to enhance to get the colours to stand out.

First is a Starling….. First book (Birds of Africa – Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan) says MIOMBA BLUE EARED – as it has a distinct magenta breast – but the other books BIRDS OF EAST AFRICA (Terry Stevenson & John Fanshaw) does not have a Miombo but does have a SOUTHERN BLUE-EARED which is restricted to Miombo woodland, but under GREATER BLUE-EARED has that bird with Magenta breast and flank.

2nd one is a stork – immature for the above mentioned books and from some photos on the web, we feel that the birds are Imm Saddle-billed storks – but some people feel it could be the woolly-necked storks.

Please can you assist in positively identifying these birds – it would be much appreciated.

Stork spp Geoff & Colleen Mullen

Thanks Geoff and Colleen for your submission.

David Winter

Immature African Fish Eagle photo

Rob Elliott submitted this great photo of an immature African Fish Eagle being “bullied” by a Lilac-breasted Roller in Chobe. I’m always amazed how brazen birds can be when mobbing raptors.

Immature African Fish Eagle Rob Elliott

Thanks Rob.

David Winter

Mystery raptor in Durban

Dave Bishop posted the following note on SA Birdnet yesterday about a mystery raptor photographed by Carlene Kidwell in Durban:

Hi all – I had an email with an ID request from Carlene Kidwell who is in the Highway area of Durban, which was accompanied by a poor photo. The nearest I could come up with is Ayres which would be unusual here though I seem to recall a recent sighting somewhere in the vicinity.

Here’s Carlene’s photo:


Dave mentioned that the consensus is that it’s a sub-adult Crowned Eagle, with which I agree.

Thanks Dave and Carlene.

David Winter

Any thoughts on what this raptor is?

The majority of responses say this bird is a young African Hawk Eagle, however there are a few who feel it’s a Booted Eagle. Stephanus Buys has included a photo of a Booted Eagle (bottom photo) for comparison.

Raptor Debbie Powell1

Debbie Powell took this photo in the Pilansberg last week. She would like the identity confirmed. Please post any thoughts in the comments section below. Here’s her original note:

“Last Friday, while in the Pilanesberg, I saw a raptor which I tentatively identified as a booted eagle (probably a juvenile); unfortunately it flew off before I could positively ID it. I have just been sent a picture of the bird taken by one of our party and wondered if there is someone on the net to whom I could send the picture to confirm the ID.”

Stephanus Raptor

ID challenge: unknown raptor

Any ideas what this bird is? It was taken in the Cape Agulhas region of South Africa earlier this year. Please post any thoughts in the comments section below.

Unknown raptor

Unknown raptor 1