Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Saturday, 29 November 2014

EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter nisus) female with freshly killed ROCK DOVE (Columba livia) Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland


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Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), alternative names include, Northern Sparrowhawk or simply Sparrowhawk, is a small bird of prey of the family Accipitridae which is in the genus Accipiter. It has a widespread distribution across the temperate and subtropical parts of the Old World. It is a partial migrant and in the more northern and colder parts of its range, it disperses south for the winter. The preferred habitats include open type wood land, hedge rows, parks and gardens where a wide variety of small to medium sized perching birds are preyed upon. Males are up to 25% smaller than females and tend to prey upon sparrow sized passerines but can include starlings and thrushes. Females, on the other hand, can tackle larger prey including doves, pigeons and magpies.

  Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Six subspecies are generally recognised:

  •  Accipiter nisus nisus - breeds from Europe and west Asia to western Siberia and Iran; northern populations winter south to the Mediterranean, north-east Africa, Arabia and Pakistan.
  •  Accipiter nisus nisosimilis - central and eastern Siberia east to Kamchatka and Japan, and south to northern China. This subspecies is wholly migratory, wintering from Pakistan and India eastwards through South-East Asia and southern China to Korea and Japan; some even reach Africa.
  •  Accipiter nisus melaschistos - Afghanistan through the Himalayas and southern Tibet to western China, and winters in the plains of South Asia.
  •   Accpiter nisus wolterstorffi - Sardinia and Corsica
  •  Accipiter nisus granti - Madeira and the Canary Islands.
  •  Accipiter nisus punicus - north-west Africa, north of the Sahara.
Reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_sparrowhawk


Saturday, 22 November 2014

HERMANN'S TORTOISE (Testudo hermanni subspecies T. h. boettgeri) Svilengrad, Haskovo Province, Bulgaria

 
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The Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanniis) of the family Testudinidae which is in the genus Testudo. The Marginated Tortoise (Testudo marginata) and Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca) are the only other species of tortoise native to Europe.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Distribution map of Hermann's Tortoise showing subspecies
By Mkljun - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4820094
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Testudo_hermanni_range_map.jpg 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

EASTERN IMPERIAL EAGLE (Aquila heliaca) Svilengrad, Haskovo Province, Bulgaria

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The Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) is of the family Accipitridae which is in the genus Aquila. This very large uncommon bird of prey which breeds in central and south eastern Europe as well as western and central Asia. The European population winters in north east Africa. The Asian population winters in the Middle East, northern Indian and South East Asia. Small numbers remain in the breeding areas all year round. Major prey items include hares, rabbits, susliks (a type of ground squirrel), birds and carrion. 
 
 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds