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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    7,869

    Default Help Me Identify a Bird

    I hope you can help me as there is a bird that I see quite frequently which I just cannot identify. I live in Portugal (Santa Iria de Azoia just outside Lisbon in sight of the Tagus estuary and the nearby marshland). We moved here last December (I mean 2017) and several times during the night we witnessed a large bird flying over our house towards the river and back again. It disappeared during summer and we thought it had gone for good but we have seen it again lately. I am at my wits end trying to identify it as wherever I look the only night birds listed in Portugal are various owls and nightjars and I am certain this is neither (we do see owls here sometimes and they are nothing like this, nightjars are simply too small). I wonder if this is something blown off course or a day bird behaving strangely. Below I include the best description we have.

    Size: Largish - bigger than a raven, smaller than a heron
    Shape: Long thick wings, body is slim and shortish with a tail half the length (not wedge-shaped)
    Colour: White/beige underneath, possibly brown on top or maybe beige but we mainly see it from below at night so could be deceived
    Beak: ?
    Legs: Can't see them, presumably not long
    Noise: not sure yet
    Flying style: Flies higher than 4th story (and sometimes much higher), purposefully as though from one place to another. Lots of flapping, no gliding, soaring or hovering
    Habitat: Flies back and forth over our streets several times a night, as though from one place to another, presumably from scrubland behind our flat to the estuary or the riverside and back
    Time seen: So far between 10.30pm until 5am - only in winter so far
    Habits: Always on its own

    Any suggestions you make would be gratefully received. No-one so far has been able to make even a guess. Or even if you know any authority body that might have some answers. I've tried websites that are supposed to identify birds but this doesn't fit any of them which makes me think it must be something that is either not supposed to be where it was or is not supposed to behave like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    لندورا
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    Default

    it's an ominous cormorant

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sufi View Post
    it's an ominous cormorant
    Aaargh, what's that? I'm not getting the joke. Is that a real bird or is it some kind of legendary curse thing like a banshee or what? I don't understand! I didn't think I could become more confused on this....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default

    Actually, this thread should be in nature shouldn't it? Can someone move it for me please?

  5. #5

    Default

    It could be Luke's purple heron, last seen in Regent's canal in 2003 (allegedly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Default

    it's gotta be, i reckon
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormorant
    just your description made it ominous!

    I've seen them flying that way over these parts, and i guess your riverine environment is suitable

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