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James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on What Bird is This? #4

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I am calling it as a Dark Chanting Goshawk (Melierax metabates). There is no white margin on the secondaries or a white rump which for me rules out Gabar Goshawk. The orange legs rules out a number of other accipiters. The darker tail also points towards the Dark Chanting Goshawk and rules out the Lizard Buzzard.

I am guessing it’s a Dark Chanting Goshawk

My first thought was Dark chanting goshawk and I’m going to stay with that assessment

Jamo, I’d say it’s a Dark Chanting Goshawk…diff to tell from a photo so I thought could also be Pale Chanting, but they shouldn’t be in the Sands…further West – so my final answer is Dark Chanting! ?

Hi Grant.
You’re right; Pale CHantings are generally found in more arid areas further west.
Gonna have to wait until tomorrow for the answer…

Would also commit to a Dark Chanting Goshawk as don’t see Pale ones here

I totally agree……….

i think it is a gabar goshawk.
not sure if it is melanistic but could be ?
take care,

Hi George,
Good to hear from you.
You are very close.
When are you back for a visit?
Best egards

I would take a wild guess (on quick view) a greater blue eared starling..

Hi Gawie,
Take a closer look at the legs colour…

So it’s NOT a grey disenchanted Kobayashi’s hupu? 🙂

I definitely need a course in birds. I recognize some of the colorful ones and the ones we see a lot. Lots to learn in January. Victoria

Pale Chanting Goshawk – semi-adult?


Hello James,
I think it is a Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk.
I love your challenge… This is a perfekt way of learning more about birds.

Hi Ann.

Glad to hear it. Expect plenty more of these!

I’m agreeing with the Dark Chanting Goshawk…. ??

The tail seems too short, but it could be because the picture is mostly straight on from the back. I am going with the Dark Chanting Goshawk.

Ian says it is an African Swamphen.

Hi James,
Having due regard to your warning that birds do not necessarily appear where you might expect, I am going with an African Swamphen. It is way out of its comfort zone but the red legs, and greenish/blueish screen on the head graduating down through a brownish shade to the pert black tail are really the only distinguishing factors

Hi Ian,
The colour in the photo is slightly hard to gauge accurately. African swamphens tend to have slightly more visible green along the back, and the leg-to-body ratio would be slightly longer.
It’s a good outside-the-box guess, but unfortunately incorrect…

Hi James, It is way out of its comfort zone but am going with an African Swamphen. Red legs, thickish neck, sheen on head and neck (cant really see the colour but looks bluish or greenish), getting lighter as it goes down towards the pert black tail are my reasons together with your warning that all is not what is expected on many occasions.

My money is on dark chanting goshawk.

My guess is a dark chanting goshawk.

Hi All,
The answer is a Dark Chanting Goshawk. The bird is very similar to a Pale Chanting Goshawk, but the latter prefers more arid areas further to the west and does not occur at Londolozi.

Well done to all those who got it right!

Congratulations to all those who got it right.

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