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Bird of preyHieraaetus morphnoides

Little Eagle at New Berrima

Hieraaetus morphnoides at New Berrima - 14 Jan 2020

Identification history

Bird of prey Hieraaetus morphnoides 14 Jan 2020 natureguy
Bird of prey Lophoictinia isura 14 Jan 2020 Snowflake


natureguy wrote:
   14 Jan 2020
Dark Morph
BLSHFour wrote:
   14 Jan 2020
I would agree this bird is a little eagle of dark morphology but square tailed kite is the bird that it must be differentiated from. As a discussion point most observers would agree that raptor diagnosis can be very difficult. Should Mpr consider a relationship with a raptor expert, such as Stephen Debus, via Birdlife to confirm raptor identity whenever there is doubt between the provider of the image and the confirming moderator. It would give accuracy for future analysis of material.
natureguy wrote:
   15 Jan 2020
Hi BLSH Four, the extra confirmation sounds like a good idea, but I have no way of organising it, so if you could sort that out for us that would be great.
Thanks, Luke.
Snowflake wrote:
   15 Jan 2020
Hi, confirmation would be great as I am still leaning towards the square-tailed kite. White face and long "fingers". Agree they can be difficult. As a wise man told me "call Raptors second!"
Several other comments lean to the square-tailed kite, but great to get it right.
   15 Jan 2020
I went birding in Kenya with Leslie Brown (a long time ago) and even he couldn't ID some of the raptors. I also saw this bird yesterday and my initial impression was "Kite", but I was driving at the time!
natureguy wrote:
   15 Jan 2020
If you have any other pictures of the bird, especially from different angles, you can add those to the sighting as this might help with the ID.

Just read up on the issue and Little Eagle has flat wings when soaring whereas Square-tailed Kite has upswept wings (from the Australian Bird Guide). Square-tailed Kite also has a paler face and the underwings are also much paler. Little Eagles also have a slightly rounded tail compared to the square tail of Square-tailed Kites (hence the name).

Hope this helps, Luke.

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Location information

Species information

  • Not Sensitive
  • Rare or uncommon Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 1 Abundance
  • 14 Jan 2020 10:25 AM Recorded on
  • Snowflake Recorded by
  • Website Reported via
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