mystery raptor

To: "Kim Sterelny" <>
Subject: mystery raptor
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2003 17:02:17 +1000
My first guess is a White-faced Heron, based on your description of "grey, and flew with powerful, but slow and deep wing-beats". As in how sure are you it was a raptor? Could the long-tail be long legs. The way to pick raptors from herons, cockatoos. etc in these conditions is how they hold their wings. Most raptors (not Whistling Kite & Osprey) have basically straight wings in profile (I mean each wing considered separately, not the tip to tip pattern and viewed from directly behind or in front) whereas herons, cockatoos etc have curved wings. 
-----Original Message-----
From: Kim Sterelny <>
To: Birding Aus <>
Date: Sunday, 3 August 2003 18:56
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] mystery raptor

Hi All

At about 4.15 this afternoon, walking down from the Black Mountain
tower in Canberra, and just coming out onto the road that seperates
the Botanical Gardens from the ANU campus, , I saw a mysterious
raptor. I was first alerted by a series of extraodinary calls - very
loud, very harsh; repeated, unlike anything I know. I was not even
sure whether it was a bird at all. And then while I was hopelessly
fumbling in my bag to get my bins out, a raptor emerged at about
treetop high from the ANU side 50 or so meters away, crossed the road
and disappeared over the botanical gardens, giving a couple of those
calls as it went. I got no view of its head or face marking/colour
(my angle was wrong), but it was long-tailed, grey, and flew with
powerful, but slow and deep wing-beats. Quite a big bird; certainly
bigger than any of the local cockatoos (id guess about palm cockatoo

any suggestions?

Kim Sterelny
Philosophy Program
Philosophy Department
Victoria University Wellington

or m("","Kim.Sterelny");">

ANU Contact Information (July-December)
Philosophy Program
Research School of the Social Sciences
Australian National University
0200 Canberra, ACT, Australia


61- (0)2 6125-2886; messages: Di Crosse: Administrator, Philosophy Program

61-(0)2 -6125 2341,
fax 61-(0)2 - 6125 3294

Victoria University Contact Information (January-June)

Philosophy Program, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600,
Wellington, New Zealand

64-4-463 5233 x 8642
fax: 64-4-463 5130

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