Mystery bird of prey?

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phil hammond
Posts: 363
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby phil hammond » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:36 am

A few years ago I saw what appeared to be a greyish falcon of some sort, about the size of a a harrier standing on a post about 3 paddocks back from the road. My excitement turned to self-mocking when I got a scope on it and realized it was a painted model. I don't know if the land owner put it there as a joke or to scare silvereyes etc away from crops. It was a good lifelike model, plastic I think, but the legs were a bit too thick - - - probably to allow it to stand or just the manufacturing process
Jan
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby Jan » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:34 am

I also wonder if it's a joke bird, but it seems to be right by the road as the gravel and verge can be seen in the bottom of the pic so if it's a model, it should still be there, unless.......... Also Richmond is near the coast, Russ and some shags can be found further inland than others.
sm1979
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Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:45 pm

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby sm1979 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:32 am

I am hesitant to say its a shag.... dont they have black thighs? This has continual white underparts. I live off Hill St... so will be looking out! We often see hawks and falcon flying around. And pied shags too, but I am pretty sure they have black feathers at the top of the leg. Unless of course this only has one leg!
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RussCannings
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Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby RussCannings » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:50 am

Jan wrote:...Also Richmond is near the coast, Russ and some shags can be found further inland than others.


No argument there Jan, though Pieds are probably the least likely of the 4 freshwatery species to hold court over a paddock (even more so when perfectly suitable habitat is so reachable). And again, if the observer was within 15m of the bird, I think they would recognize a shag, but maybe not?
Jan
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby Jan » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:13 am

Me again, we are in thick fog and drizzle and I'm over it.
I looked at NZbirdsonline.org.nz/species for Little Shag/Cormorant pics and there are a number that make the bird look like a bird of prey, a couple in the same pose as this mystery bird and one on a nest looking very hawk-like. Also, Little Cormorants don't have black thighs. The only thing against it is the length of tail [not long enough?] and it ought to have a yellow beak, but maybe that's lost in the fuzzy photo.
Clinton9
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Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby Clinton9 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:00 pm

adult male Swamp harrier.
phil hammond
Posts: 363
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby phil hammond » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:12 pm

I've been trying to assess the diameter of that post, in order to judge the size of the bird

I've looked at the width compared with height and also the width of it compared to the posts beside it

My best guess is that the post with the bird on it is about 150mm diameter---a common size, which would make the bird too small to be a Pied Shag or Harrier
Steve Wood
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby Steve Wood » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:46 pm

Hi Phil
Had the post measured last night and the diameter is 200mm which would make the bird around 450+ mm. +/- for dodgy pic.
This is in keeping with my original thoughts which clocks in around 520mm
The bird was seen to fly and quoted to have large wings and bigger than that of oz Harrier over all. No other distinguishing features noticed.
Davidthomas
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby Davidthomas » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:37 pm

If it was bigger than an Aussie harrier that blows most of the other hawks in question out of the water on size alone. I guess the only other thing possible would be some buteo? But even then they’re kinda generally similar size if not smaller.
phil hammond
Posts: 363
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Mystery bird of prey?

Postby phil hammond » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:51 pm

Thanks Steve
What do you think we are seeing regarding the head? Do you reckon we are seeing the head side on?

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