[CT Birds] Gyrfalcon thoughts

Nick Bonomo nbonomo at gmail.com
Sun Jan 11 19:16:02 EST 2015

Hi all,

Mike Moccio's report of a Gyrfalcon along the Stamford coast yesterday got
me thinking about strategies for relocating the bird, if it is still in the
area. There is no obvious piece of habitat that comes to mind...nothing
like a large saltmarsh or acres of open fields nearby that I know of. But
that doesn't mean the bird can't be hanging around. For instance, several
winters ago a dark phase Gyrfalcon spent the winter in Boston roosting on a
building and hunting the area (including Logan airport, I believe) for
pigeons and gulls. One or more Gyrs wintered around New Haven Harbor some
30+ years ago, picking off pigeons at a former landfill if I recall the
stories correctly. So a Gyr could certainly settle into Stamford (or
Greenwich, Norwalk, etc) and its environs while living off of pigeons,
gulls, and ducks. Gyrfalcons cover a lot of ground while hunting and could
range over a very large area. They tend to roost on cliffs and their urban
counterparts, buildings.

It's worth keeping this in the back of our minds for the remainder of the

Note that Gyrfalcon identification can be difficult without good views
(particularly re: large female Peregrine Falcons), so great care should be
taken in the field.

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT

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