Sunday, 13 December 2015

A few birds of prey from Paraguay.

It wasn't a day for getting out with the camera, First the weather was awful, and then there was the prospect of see the best team in North  London going to the top of the Premiership and the other lot losing to one of the bottom teams. I  carried on sorting through some photos from where the weather was much warmer and there were lots of birds to see.

Like much of the continent  Paraguay is suffering from deforestation, threatening many of the most productive wildlife areas. Nevertheless the area of the Chaco, a vast very flat habitat of  scrubby forest, much of it seasonably flooded. This area is ideal for birds of prey and in total we saw a total of 28 species, including (American) Vultures, Eagles, Hawks, Kites, Falcons and Caracaras. I've always thought that the Laughing Falcon, with it's black mask is one of the most attractive and distinctive of the Falcons. 

A big eagle is always a star bird and this Crowned Solitary Eagle certainly entertained for a while, moving from one telegraph pole to the next and then give us prolonged flight views.

This is quite a big eagle, the wing-span is around 190 cm, which is at the bottom end of a Golden Eagle's span. It has an exceptionally short tail, but big enough to have a very distinctive pattern.

 As I said, much of the area is flooded and this attracts large numbers of Snail Kites. As well teh numbers feeding over the marsh large numbers could be seen sitting around.

Snail Kites feed almost exclusively on Apple Snails, and from this angle it is possible to appreciate the very well adapted beak it has for the job.

One of the most noticeable birds of prey, in many South American countries is the Roadside Hawk.

It is a  Small Hawk, with a wingspan no larger than a Kestrel,  I don't know what it did before roads, but I suspect it still managed to to sit around until they were built.

No comments: