Friday, November 02, 2012

Big Johnson Reservoir 11/2/12

This bird was noted by someone on cobirders yesterday and I made note of the coordinates and went to try to find it myself after work today.  It is fully overcast and sunset is coming pretty early now so these pictures are wanting for light at 4:30 p.m., but as near as I can tell the markings of this bird do seem to match a gyrfalcon.  My first impression of the bird was that it is big - bigger than a red-tail hawk for sure.  New bird for me if confirmed, and considered 'rare' in this area, I guess!  Maps in my field guides show it mostly hanging out way up north in Canada/Arctic areas but Peterson did note that young brown ones sometimes venture further south.  But Prairie Falcon looks pretty similar - I doubt my pictures are good enough to tell it apart?  Or probably it is a Red-Tailed Hawk. :)

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