Monday, November 21, 2011

Endangered raptors - Changeable Hawk-eagle

2011 has been a year of raptors for me. Just within the year, I have watched a pair of Black-winged Kites raise a family at Tuas Grassland and encountered three of the less common raptors know to reside in Singapore. Unfortunately, access to Tuas Grassland has since been blocked as the land is being prepared for development. The family of Black-winged Kites will be evicted along with all the other animals living on the seemingly barren grassland.
March - I caught a glimpse of a Changeable Hawk-Eagle sitting on a dead standing tree in the noon day sun while driving along Neo Tiew Road (this was my first close encounter with this species).
dark morph

I cautiously approached the bird as most raptors do not tolerate presence of humans. They will take off the minute they catch sight of you approaching, which can be a long way away. To my delight this bird stayed and was not the least bit bothered by my presence.
September - a family of Grey-headed Fish Eagle.
October - a Serpent Crested Eagle.
Never did I expect to see another Changeable Hawk-eagle as they are uncommon. On November 16, I spotted an odd extension on a dead standing tree standing at the door way of my house. A quick scan with my bino revealed a Changeable Hawk-eagle basking in the noon-day sun. I grabbed my camera out of my car and walked to where the bird was to grab some shots before it took off.
pale morph
This bird stayed a pretty long time giving me a chance to take quite a number of shots. It flew off when it heard the call of another Changeable Hawk-eagle.

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