Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gyrfalcon?-ABC WEDNESDAY, "G"

We were introduced  to this magnificent bird which is a cross between a Gyrfalcon and a Peregrine Falcon at the Wildlife Center outside of Santa Fe.  I learned how to distinguish among Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, and Gyrfalcons:

Similar Species

Peregrine Falcon is most likely to be confused with Prairie Falcon, Merlin or the rare Gyrfalcon. Of these, the Prairie Falcon has the most similar size and shape, but it's found only in open areas of the West and is less tied to concentrations of shorebirds, ducks, or pigeons. Prairie Falcons are browner than Peregrines, with dark "armpit" patches under their wings. The average Merlin is substantially smaller than a Peregrine Falcon, with a more compact body, shorter wings, and a stockier appearance. They tend to target smaller birds and even dragonflies. Merlins lack the Peregrine's helmeted look and thick mustache or sideburn. The Gyrfalcon is bulkier than a Peregrine Falcon and is very rare in the continental United States. Gyrfalcons can take down larger birds like Herring Gulls or Common Goldeneyes that a Peregrine can’t really handle.

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    25 comments:

    1. il est magnifique, et il y a une goutte de sang au coin de son bec

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    2. Please allow me a bit of envy, I can barely tell a lousy pigeon from a noisy gull, that's all our choice...

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    3. My wife's secretary for many years volunteered every Sunday at the Liberty Wildlife Center in Phoenix, which rescues and cares for all types of birds. The people who work in such places to great work.

      Last evening my wife ad I heard an owl hooting in the tree in our front yard. She went outside to watch him. The owl then swooped down from the tree and snatched a small bunny from our neighbor's yard and then flew down the street.

      Of course Julie's comment afterwards was that next time she will have to get her tripod and camera.

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    4. What a great shot of this gorgeous bird!

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    5. What a great shot Kate, the markings on the feathers are amazing and as for that hooked beak, yikes..!!

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    6. He appears to be giving you "the eye" and I hope that was shot with a telephoto lens - hah! He is just beautiful in coloring.

      Bises,
      Genie

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    7. He's a gorgeous bird, I love all the details (and the little bead of blood on his beak).

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    8. Beautiful shot and unusual for us here!! It does have an attitude!! I wonder what he is thinking!!

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    9. Beautiful bird Kate.
      I'm glad you are able to spend some time in Santa Fe.

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    10. Oh dear... I had to look again to see that bead of blood!
      We have Peregrines here, but I'd not heard of Gyrfalcons. He is a magnificent creature.

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    11. At my college alma mater, SUNY New Paltz, there was a great falconer named Heinz Meng, who I always associate with the peregrine.

      ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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    12. Looks like a proud bird. Excellent close up.

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    13. I have to admit this is the first time I've ever heard of a gyrafalcon!

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    14. The bird took my breath away...so beautiful!
      Jane x

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    15. Terrific, Kate. Crystal clear. I enlarged it and then studied it for quite a while before deciding it was real and neither stuffed nor a statue. However gorgeous the bird is, I don't care to run into it in the wild . . .

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    16. Now I know why I've been missing you--you're not here but in Sante Fe! I'm a little slow.
      Very interesting post and great capture. Plus I learned something new about falcons. Thanks.
      Happy Wednesday!

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    17. wow beautiful colors and markings

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    18. What a royal bird ! Beautiful picture !
      Gattina
      ABC Team

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    19. Beautiful! I shall have to visit that center. What a gorgeous bird!

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    20. Oh how fabulous Kate. What a stunningly beautiful bird.

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