Comments on the Video

Honey Buzzards (mainly juvenile), Allen, Northumberland, 18 September 2004

Location of video

Associated stills are held with video on identification pages.

These clips were taken at a post-breeding concentration of mainly juvenile Honey Buzzards. The video was taken between 16:45-16:55. The weather was overcast and dry with a fresh W wind, having been brighter earlier. The video file holds 4 clips run together:

Clip 1: 1-20 seconds, three Honey Buzzard presumed juveniles rising up into the air, very buoyant flight on level wings. Near the end of this clip one moves with typical deep flapping flight from right to left. The wing tips go very low on the downstroke (stills 0.5,0.6). Altogether this clip shows a very fast moving situation with birds climbing up into the air and moving rapidly across the sky.

Clip 2: 21-44 seconds, one Honey Buzzard juvenile rising up against wind and then majestically gliding down in almost Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos style (stills 4,5) but showing a small head (still 2), thin long tail (stills 1-3) and prominent pale patch on base of primaries from above (still 6). The tail shows pale uppertail coverts with possibly 2 main bars at its terminus (still 8). The wings are very far below the horizontal on occasions (still 7). The final picture is over grassland (still 9). When gliding this bird shows the characteristic smoothly arched wing profile of Honey Buzzard.

Clip 3: 45-63 seconds, one Honey Buzzard, possibly adult female, carrying food over wood (still 14). This bird shows a long tail (still 12) just before it loses height against the moors in the distance. The flight is very buoyant on flat wings (slide 13) and the carried item must be very light (perhaps comb). The wings are moved very deeply below the horizontal (stills 10,11). The rather provocative way in which the food is carried is typical in birds of prey with newly-fledged young: the aim is to encourage the young into activity.

Clip 4: 64-77 seconds, two birds in display-type flight, possibly the adult female carrying food being chased by a juvenile. The birds show deep flaps on bowed wings, a pale flash on outer underwing and agile flight (stills 15-19).

The sound track has been suppressed on the video file as distributed but can be re-activated through Windows Movie Maker. There is much wind noise, even with windshield on, and you can hear a few inconsequential comments from the observers! The birds only called once during this spell of activity, giving the typical trisyllabic flight calls.

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© Nick Rossiter 2005