It is certainly NOT a Whistling Kite, because the tail shape is
completely wrong and too short for that species and the body much too
The only way it would not be a Little Eagle is if it was something
really rare or foreign, and that only because the pictures aren't good
enough. In other words the pictures such as they are, are only and
completely consistent with it being a Little Eagle, within the realms of
south east Australia.
It does look like the same species in all photos.
I published a detailed description of identification of these two
species in Canberra Bird Notes many years ago. Which I still believe
covers them really well.
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah ACT 2902
02 - 62314041
On Behalf Of Peter Shute
Sent: Sunday, 17 May 2009 12:26 AM
To: Birding-aus (E-mail)
Subject: Raptor id - Brimbank Park, Vic
There was much debate over the id of a raptor seen during a BOCA outing
at Brimbank Park today. I initally thought it was a Whistling Kite
because its wings were quite bowed down, then someone mentioned Little
Eagle and that the strong wind might be causing it to do that, and I
tended to agree because I just couldn't see the distinctive wing
pattern, then I decided I just didn't know.
I managed to get some photos, very blurry because of the distance, so if
anyone would like to have a look at them and tell me what you think, I'd
appreciate it: http://picasaweb.google.com/pshute2/RaptorBrimbankPark#
You can enlarge the photos one by one by clicking on them, or drag the
slider just above the top right picture to enlarge them all at once.
Note that I've labeled them "Raptor 1" and "Raptor 2". That's because
the bird was seen twice, several minutes apart, and we weren't sure it
was the same one, but it looks the same shape to me, although the neck
and tail lengths might look a little different because of the different
angles. There's a little bump on the trailing edge of its right wing,
visible in all but the first of the photos which makes me fairly sure
it's the same bird.
I'm thinking now that I've been able to touch up the photos and see a
bit of wing pattern, that it's a dark morph Little Eagle. Am I right,
and are all the photos of the same species/bird?
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