Sunday, February 21, 2016

Peregrine (??) at the Condo (%)

The "falcon" returned the following morning - and was eating a freakin GULL (of all things) on the NE corner of the nearby building...

I've boiled down the responses I've received from my last post/photos (thanks to everyone who commented)... The summary is "It's a Peregrine, you idiot"...

I can't disagree that I was wrong for barking up the Gyrfalcon tree... It's not right. But I continue to have some issue with the thought that this is a "normal" Peregrine. Seeing it the following morning, I still didn't look and think "Peregrine"... While everyone makes mistakes, I do like to think I'm pretty good with Peregrines - and given that this is my ~65th Peregrine sighting since moving to the condo in late 2012...

Anyways, here's the new series of photos from day 2 (haven't seen it since)..

It's really big

It's an odd gray/brown colour

the breast/belly streaking is odd

the helmet pattern is mostly "moustache stripes"

has odd pale markings on the top of its head

wings seem abnormally long and thin (??)

I pulled out a few more images from day 1 (cell phone + scope) - but they don't add a whole lot:

So in the end, I am horribly outnumbered in the "not a normal Peregrine camp" - so i'll probably just let this one fade away... Just one last time (unless it returns) I'll say "No - not a Gyrfalcon, but maybe not a "normal" Peregrine?"

As always, comments appreciated. Be sure to watch this video on full screen/youtube for a better impression of how it looked. (Same video as the top). 


  1. I found your sighting most intriguing, which prompted me to check out internet sites which discussed hybrids. Imagine my surprise when I found out how many businesses in North America breed falcons for sale for falconry. Your bird could easily pass for one of the many Gyr x Peregrines or other hybrids that are available for purchase on line. Many years ago a Prairie Falcon was reported from the Humber Bay area here in Toronto. I went looking for it and subsequently saw a large falcon with a darker armpit flying near the condo towers. I have never seen Prairie Falcon before and still haven't but this bird seemed promising so I posted it on Ontbirds. I was so excited I locked my keys in my car. Anyway it turned out the bird was a suspect Gyrfalcon x Saker Falcon hybrid. Long story short, always go with your gut no matter what.

  2. I don't think it looks like a normal peregrine, whatever normal is haha. It does appear quite bulky in the photos. By the way, I'd say you are more qualified than some of the "experts" , whom often just like to hear the sound of their own voices. I consider you an expert of the top tier! As Garth says, gut feeling is often key.

  3. Thanks for the comments gents - made my day :)