Re: Possible Short-toed Eagle

To: Lawrie Conole <>
Subject: Re: Possible Short-toed Eagle
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 20:52:21 +1100

My 8,500Km figure is based on the "normal" home range as given in Ferguson-Lees and Christie's "Raptors of the World", but then again birds are renowned for their inability to read maps. There have been a few interesting Raptor sightings around the world lately. The latest I have heard of is the sighting of a nesting Harpy Eagle in Belize, some 1200Km north of the normal range.

As you say , Lawrie, if STEs have been recorded as far Timor, it is not inconceivable that one or more young birds, in an avian equivalent of the "gap year", should wander further afield to fill in time till the breeding urge kicks in and they head back to seek their own mate at the end of their peregrinations.

This sighting highlights a big problem with Australian Ornithology, so many birds, so much landscape, so few eyes looking. Times like this one wishes we could use the old reliable Ornithologist's tool of trade, the 12 Bore shotgun.

Good luck with the confirmation,


Carl Clifford

On 27/12/2010, at 8:07 PM, Lawrie Conole wrote:

Hi there

My library tells me that Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus gallicus) migrate as far south as Timor, so Australia is not much of a stretch (certainly not 8,500km out of range!) - though getting as far south as Geelong is a bit unexpected.

I recall being in a convoy of birders that included Margaret Cameron and other notables, somewhere out in Victoria's Western District circa 1979-1980 - the consensus of the birders who had some experience outside Australia then was that the odd raptor we saw that day was a Short-toed Eagle.

I'd love for some people to see the bird and confirm the ID ...

Lawrie Conole
Northcote 3070 AUSTRALIA


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