jccurd's picture

Captive Raptor

Observed: 4th June 2003 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birds

First, I want to be very clear that this is a captive bird at The Raptor Foundation near Huntingdon. They rescue injured wild birds but also unwanted domesticated birds. I wouldn't normally add anything captive but I'm intrigued about an id.
This dates from maybe 7 years ago (the date is a guess) on my beloved old Canon EOS 3 and Fuji Velvia film. At the time, I was much more interested in the photo than the identification and, like an idiot, didn't write down any details.
Being very much a portrait, there's little of the bird visible, I know. I've always referred to it as "my buzzard" which vary but I'd expect some flecking. There were other species at the foundation such as a Harris Hawk which, I think, has a heavier beak. This beak looks quite chunky.
What does the team think about this character?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


jan_rix's picture

I'm sure someone at the

I'm sure someone at the Raptor Foundation (know it quite well, I live just a few miles away) would help you with the ID if you sent them the photo, even providing the bird's name! maybe it's not an indigenous species, or a cross? I agree with Patrick, it does have the look of eagle about it. Harris hawk bills are usually distictly yellower than this, and although it could be an effect of the photo, the feathers often darker

jccurd's picture

Good Idea ...

... sending them the photo. Maybe I'll try that. I didn't think of anything as large as a Golden Eagle but who knows?

jccurd's picture

The Plot Thickens


I tried sending this shot to The Raptor Foundation as you suggested. They're telling me that this was a Tawny Eagle that was boarding there.

The colour looks dubious to me, though I've never seen one before (I'm just going by my Collins) - looks closer to the Steppe Eagle colouration.

What a pity I have such a tight portrait. Could do with seeing more of the plumage.


bobthebirder's picture


Yes, it could well be a tawny eagle, the head does look a bit pale for a golden eagle.

Bob Ford

jccurd's picture

Thanks Bob

I really wish I'd paid more attention all those years ago but iSpot does wonderful things and changes the focus, if you'll excuse the photographic pun.

Maybe I'll rename it "my Tawny Eagle", then. ;-)