Metal chain on a migratory Oriental Honey-buzzard

“On 7 Oct 2018, I was observing the Raptor migration at Khao Dinsor, Thailand. I noticed something hanging below a female Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus) from a distance (above). As it flew nearer to the viewing platform, I took more shots and manage to get a better view of the object (below). It looked like a metal chain that was attached to the left leg of the bird.

“An unofficial source said that this bird could have been illegally caught and chained up before it was released. But it seemed strange that it was able to re-join other raptors in a typical-sized flock along the south-bound migratory route. Other theories or thoughts are welcome.

“As it flew past the viewing platform, my immediate thoughts were that it was going to be an extra burden for this bird to lug this chain over a long distance covering several countries. It will pose a high risk too as it might get stuck on a branch on a tree as it rests or roost or get entangled with objects on the ground or other landing spots. I hope this bird survives this risky journey and will be able to break free from this chain.”

Thong Chow Ngian
Singapore
12th October 2018

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