1
$\begingroup$

Apologies for the poor pictures, they are a crop of a tiny part of a picture taken with max zoom.

enter image description here



enter image description here



A nature reserve in Bulgaria, I often see those birds while I hike there. They let people come quite close, but they always care to stay between your eyes and the sun. Only this time I managed to see their back in full daylight, but it happened because they were very far. I searched some information online and I understood that the most commons birds of prey in the area are the Kestrel and the Buzzard, I think the one in the pictures is a Kestrel. But when I tried to search online to confirm the identification I could not find a picture of the back, it seems I am not the only one who can only see them against the sun.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any other information you can give us? An estimate of the size would be very helpful (hard to do by eye, but maybe you've seen it near another bird you can identify). Behavioral information would also be very helpful. How did it fly? Soaring vs. frequent flapping? Level direct flight vs. spiraling vs. a rising and falling pattern or something else? Did it interact with any other birds? Calls? $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Aug 3, 2022 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ @tyersome I am not very good at estimating the size. I could say that it was a bit smaller than a urban crow. As for the behaviour what I usually notice is when they stand still mid air or flap the wings without moving for several minutes and then suddenly dive. But actually the moment I took the picture it was just flying in a saddle between two peaks. $\endgroup$
    – FluidCode
    Aug 3, 2022 at 20:31

1 Answer 1

1
$\begingroup$

Well, it does have the characteristic pointy wings of a falcon, so that narrows the choices. I wouldn't worry about the back - most birds have a fair amount of variability in plumage as it is, and with young birds flying around this time of year, that adds to the fun. I'd focus on the tail, which is likely to be far more useful. That black band at the end of the tail seems to be a good fieldmark for Kestrel, but I'm not sure about the white border. Perhaps it's a young bird and the white border will wear off (as so often happens with young birds' plumage). Or perhaps it's simply an artifact of the photograph/enlargement process.

Edited To Add: In the attached links, the various illustrations show both the black terminal band and the white border to that band, as well as the brownish back as we can see from your photo. I'd lean toward the Eurasian Kestrel rather than Least Kestrel, but I'm not experienced with European birds, so you might want to take that for what it's worth.

https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/469/_/eurasian_kestrel.aspx

https://ebird.org/species/eurkes

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. In the second link, the picture labelled "Immature" seems a good match, at least for the wing and tail tips. $\endgroup$
    – FluidCode
    Sep 15, 2022 at 11:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .