some sort of bird of prey

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lauren06's picture
some sort of bird of prey

I was this bird today in Telowie gorge conservation park (SA). I know its a bird of prey but unsure exactly which species.

Back of bird was dark brown all the way down to the end of its tail.
Its front was a lighter, mottled colour.
Legs were yellow and eyes had a yellow ring around them.

Please help!

lauren06's picture

I forgot to say, it was sitting on a branch in a tall gum tree and just stayed there the whole time. It was at least 30cm long but possibly up to 50cm. Hard to tell from the distance.

DenisWilson's picture

Hi Lauren06
Colour, mottled front, yellow eyes, sitting in a tree (watching you) leads me to suggest Brown Goshawk (or the almost indistinguishable by description, but smaller) Collared Sparrowhawk.
Sparrowhawk is smaller, finer. But the female SH (larger than male) is almost same size as male Goshawk. Tail shape, and length of middle toe are the minute distinguishing details. But the male Sparrowhawk is very small (about the size of a Red Wattlebird).
Immatures of both species have very different markings (from adults) on the front - coarse, vertical stripes, not fine bronze coloured barring.
Try Google Image search "immature Brown Goshawk"

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