Expert birdwatchers decided it is a Montagu's harrier

Lee Evans has sent us another opinion and we will end up this discussion with the decision that the controversial bird of prey is a Montagu's Harrier. Here is Lee's contribution:

I decided to solicit a further comment from raptor expert and UK400 Club Advisor Dick Forsman in relation to the controversial harrier
present on Madeira in July (particularly following further information published on this website and in Birding World), and sent Dick a full
set of photographs of the bird providing more detail and showing a full suite of characters. He very kindly commented thus

''This bird is without question a first-summer Montagu's Harrier. Both Hen and American Marsh Hawk are easily eliminated by wing-formula alone, and Pallid Harrier by the head-pattern. In fact, there is not a single plumage feature suggesting Pallid Harrier in this particular bird. The fact that it doesn't fly like a Montagu's Harrier and appears broad-winged is because of its age: young birds are broader-winged and shorter tailed than adults and therefore also their flight is less graceful.''

Thanks for all your help in this identification! No doubt that new technologies can help to develop birdwatching! And much more will come...

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