FW: raptor identification help needed

To: <>
Subject: FW: raptor identification help needed
From: "Graeme Gallienne" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 16:29:56 +1000



From: Sandra Gallienne  
Sent: Thursday, 29 July 2010 3:26 PM
Subject: raptor identification help needed


Hi all,



I'm not new to birding (have been keenly watching birds for over 30 years)
but still have difficulty identifying some of the raptors, mostly because
they are not often around for me to become familiar with them.  Also, they
are mostly seen flying overhead and either they are only visible for a short
time or the sunlight is in the wrong direction to get a clear look.  I have
several field guides but still I'm having trouble. 


Today I saw 2 birds at the rear of my property with which I am unfamiliar.
(I usually have Wedge-tailed Eagles, Brown Falcons and Brown Goshawks).  I
got extremely good views of the birds but once I returned to the house to
consult the field guides the confusion started.  The birds I saw could be
one of about four species - Little Eagles, immature Brahminy Kites (and this
is my strongest guess), Square-tailed Kites or Swamp Harriers.  One of the
birds was darker than the other, both had light heads but not bright white
like a mature Brahminy Kite (with which I am familiar as I lived near the
Clarence River for a few years at Iluka), black primaries, a light window
under the wing which also had a rufous leading edge then a grey area and it
seemed to me black trailing edge. The back of the wings were dark but had a
definite rufous band through the centre.  The profile of the wings of the
birds in flight were as shown in the field guide (The Graham Pizzey & Frank
Knight Field Guide to the Birds of Australia) for both the Brahminy Kite and
Little Eagle.  One notable thing about the birds in flight it seemed to me,
was that they held the legs down and slightly forward, not folded back as
most birds in flight do.


I submit a weekly list to birdata and would love to add these birds, can
anyone help me with where to find more comprehensive information on
identifying raptors?  I would be most grateful as I'm sure I could be on the
internet for hours looking for the right site and this would just add to my


Thank you,

Sandra Gallienne


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU