viernes, 16 de noviembre de 2012

Presumed escaped raptors also fly

On 16:30 hours of 13th November 2012, Todor Todorov was having a tea with his boss. He nevertheless spotted a raptor in the distance. It seemed a Buzzard. To his surprise, the raptor headed directly towards them, perhaps unable to spot both humans shaded by a tree and canvas. A couple of  Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) attacked the raptor and Todor could quickly mount his camera to take the above shot before the raptor left the area. That happened at Mijas Costa, Málaga, close to the Calaburras lighthouse.

After some initial surprise, the bird was identified with the collaboration of more people as a juvenile Harris' Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus, a species of American origin unlikely to have been recorded in the wild in the area as it is commonly kept as a falconry species.

Some individuals of this species have been seen in the wild in Spain and it's in the E3 list of the birds of Spain. However to our knowledge this is the 1st juvenile reported.

The bird might be confused with an odd Buteo or even an Aquila if not properly seen. Given the amount of observations of rare birds in S Andalucia it's interesting to keep in mind that the option of an escape is always present, regardless the origin of the bird. See for example this thread in a falconry forum announcing the escape of a Turkey Vulture or this entry in this blog talking about Hooded Vultures.

Being a juvenile is therefore not a direct guarantee of a wild origin as a vagrant.

Resumen. Las rapaces presuntamente escapadas también vuelan. El 13.11.2012 T.Todorov observó un juvenil de busardo mixto Parabuteo unicinctus,  una especie americana, típicamente usada en cetrería. La novedad es que tratándose de un juvenil es confundible con otras especies además de indicar que también los escapes pueden volar y ser confundidos, aún más si son juveniles, con aves de origen natural.

Resum. Les rapinyaires presumiblement escapades també volen. El 13.11.2012, Todor Todorov va observar un juvenil d'aligot de Harris Parabuteo unicinctus, una espècie americana típicament emprada a falconeria. La novetat era que es tractava d'un juvenil i era fàcil de confondre amb altres espècies si no tenies present que podia ser quelcom exòtic. A més, aquesta observació indica que també els ocells escapats poden volar i ser confosos, encara més si són juvenils, amb aus d'origen natural.