sylvia's picture

20100803-_MG_2751_full_quality

Observed: 3rd August 2010 By: sylvia
20100803-_MG_2751_full_quality
Description:

A very large bird no sure if it was an eagle or vulture

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Ray Turner's picture

Subadult

An intermittent stage of plumage I think, a subadult.

Ray

pirayaguara's picture

It definately is not like any

It definately is not like any of the Palm Nut Vultures I've seen as it lacks the orange facial skin and it is the wrong shape

Ray Turner's picture

Second Year

Shape wise I have no issues with – indeed it looks every inch G. angolensis. As far as plumage is concerned the books often tend to show juvenile (all over brown/black) or adult (the classic black primaries and secondaries, rest white with bare facial skin quite a vivid red) however the bird does not develop the full adult plumage until the sixth year. Between juvenile and full adult there are several subadult phases; in this photo the tail feathers are white tipped and the facial skin is just starting to turn pink which are indicative of a second-year bird.

Ray

Ray

pirayaguara's picture

The facial skin is red in the

The facial skin is red in the juveniles as well as the adults - the bird simply does not look like any of the palm nut vultures I have seen in Africa

Ray Turner's picture

All-sorts of Colours

“Adult bare face-sides red or orange-red, juvenile yellow-grey or brownish-yellow, turning flesh and then yellow by third or fourth year.”
James Ferguson-Lees and David A Christie. Raptors of the World. Helm. 2001. p412

I too have travelled extensively in E. Africa, sadly not since the late 1990s, and seen very few subadult birds whilst there; they look so unlike the striking full adult I suspect we overlook many.

Ray

Ray