The Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) was the first species of eagle that I saw since I began birding. I remember my friend looking at my photo and saying, "It is a Black Kite."
I was positive it wasn't -- the head was flat, the eyes fiercer, and the bird was definitely larger than a kite. The cere (the fleshy yellow skin around the beak) extended below the eye. I was proven right.
|A dark morph adult lifts off|
|A juvenile, in the distinctive pale morph|
Text and photos by Sandeep Somasekharan