[CT Birds] GYRFALCON, Long Island

Alexander Burdo alexanderburdo at mac.com
Wed Oct 28 20:48:14 EDT 2009


I know I just put in my Watch for Cave Swallows but I also found this  
interesting. It seems just a tad early but a juv. Gray Morph Gyrfalcon  
has been found on Jones Beach in Long Island. Here is a report from  
The New York Birding List as well as a link to see the other postings  
about this bird. If you see a larger, heavier falcon while birding the  
beaches it might just be a Gyrfalcon. Remember Gyrfalcons come in 3  
morphs; White, Gray and Dark, plus if you factor in the juvs you may  
have created a confusing picture for yourself. Just like my last  
report about Caves, I recommend consulting a trusty Sibley. Sibley  
gives a fantastic comparison of the morphs in flight and well as them  
sitting. From looking in my Sibley I have compiled these notes for  
comparing Gyr with Peregrine. A-Peregrine has smooth and powerful  
wingbeats while the Gyr's wingbeats are rather stiff. B-The Peregrine  
has a notable dark mustache while the Gyr's mustache is very weak on  
the Gray morph and absent on the other two morphs. C-On sitting birds,  
the Peregrines wingtips reach the tail tip while the Gyr's seem to  
only go halfway. D-The sitting Peregrine only has black sideways  
streaks only up to the chest while the Dark and Gray Gyrs have streaks  
up to the throat. There are other comparisons-consult Sibley to learn  
Good Luck!

NYS birders,a look at the photo tells that this bird is a no doubt  
juvenile gray morph Gyrfalcon. I am confused as to the confusion.Besides
definitive plumage and shape,it's carrying away a herring gull.When  
sees a Peregrine do that,it will something of note..

Pete Gustas
168 Schofield St.
City Island,NY 10464

email-pgustas AT yahoo.com
NYBirding List-

Alex Burdo

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