Monday, January 25, 2010

Solitary Eagle at Altos del María, a report by Alfred Raab

Friday, January 22, 2010 - Altos del Maria
At mid day (12:00 am) Alfred Raab, my friends Fritz Furrer and Rene Appenzeller were watching for hawks from the most westerly tower above Rioca in Altos del Maria.
We then hear a hawk calling like a 'kie kie kie kie kie'. We found the Hawk at or little below eye level circling about 200 to 300m from us in clear view. We noticed its large size with medium to light gray on the upper wings and back. Tail: A very wide, pure white tail band followed with black was very clearly visible, also the white scaling on the tail covers was visible. Bill was yellow, easily noticeable. We watched the bird for about one minute, he then dove straight down into the woods below us. We identified this Hawk as a Solitary Eagle.
About 10 minutes later the same hawk was circling again about 300m in front of us at eye level. We clearly saw the gray back and tail pattern again. As it circled higher we saw the undersides which was dark. It then flew away from us towards the northwest, circling in-between, climbing higher and then disappeared in the cloud.
Size of the bird - it was about the size of a turkey vulture which were circling nearby.
As the bird flew away from us at slightly above eye level it appeared that it soared with the wings held slightly above its body (but less than a turkey vulture). Also the white tail band was visible at a great distance.
Fritz Furrer has observed the Solitary Eagle many years back in Costa Rica.
The weather was clear and sunny with a few clouds.

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