The truly magnificent Mountain Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis) was sighted by us on the 24rth of Jan..soaring overhead at a small meadow called Belkundri. This Eagle was never a confirmed sighting till now and i think nobody ever photographed it in Kanha. It was a treat to watch this big and beautiful Eagle with such broad wings, soar over us and i was so fortunate to have photographed it! In fact, we could not exactly identify the bird..raptors are such a challenge! But an expert, Praveen, who came two days later could identify and confirm it from my photograph!
Another favourite Eagle of mine, the Rufous-belllied Eagle(Hieraaetus kienerii), is rarely seen in Kanha.We saw it only a couple of times in the past year and it was such a brief or a distant sighting that i never got a chance to photograph it. On 3rd Feb 2009, i got lucky..we came across two Rufous-bellied Eagles soaring overhead and even calling!! A courting pair?! What a superb sighting!!
This is another un-commonly seen winter visitor, the Bonelli’s Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus)! We also saw other un-common Raptors like Besra, Crested Goshawk and Eurasian SparrowHawk, this winter. Last year we also saw an un-believable raptor…the Jerdon’s Baza! Kanha is indeed a great place for rare Raptors! We always keep our eyes peeled at the sky for raptors, especially after 9 am, as they prefer to soar with the thermals. ‘Raptor!’, goes the excited call..as one of the several keen pair of eyes spots one!!