Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Immature Black Eagle

When I first looked at this bird I thought it was a pale morph Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus,  a common raptor here in forests near Tawau. However, on detailed inspection, I noted a few features which indicated it to be a different raptor.

The adult of  Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis is unmistakable in flight, its yellow feet together with the equally yellow cere and gape is striking against the otherwise blackish bird. However, images of immature birds are not as commonly seen. The following two images of an immature Black Eagle were taken about one month apart, I suspected they were of the same bird.

I concluded this is an immature Black Eagle, may be a second year bird, based on the following, however, all other opinions are welcomed.

1. Yellow cere and gape.
2. Evident whitish patch at base to outer primaries.
3. Blacky streaked breast and underbody.
4. Darkly barred remages against paler wing-linings, and
5. The shape of the wings and the longish fingers.

Here is a closer image showing the yellow cere and gape.


Happy birding.

5 comments:

M. A. Muin said...

totally agreed. The tail n wing shape matched...what a nice shot of a juve...

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Great shots here! It looks pretty much like a big Black Kite.

Wong Tsu Shi said...

Thanks Muin and Ayuwat.

Cede Prudente said...

Bagus...

Photographed the mature one surrounding Telupid highway...

Taiko, any idea of the distribution??

Wong Tsu Shi said...

Thanks, Cede, it should be resident through out Borneo.