Falcons

Gyrfalcon

Gyrfalcon, photo by Ólafur Larsen courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Look For At 22 inches in length and with a wingspan of 47 inches, gyrfalcon is the largest falcon. It is sexually dimorphic not by color but by size, with males weighing about two-thirds as much as females. Its color and plumage pattern is highly variable, ranging from nearly pure white to dark brownish gray… Read more

Merlin

Merlin (Photo by Bill Thompson III)

Look For The merlin is a medium-sized falcon, larger than an American kestrel and more heavily streaked overall. Its streakiness makes it look very dark. In flight, the merlin is a direct and speedy flier, and it rarely hovers (as kestrels do) or perches in one place for extended periods. The male is dark above… Read more

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon (Photo by Kevin Cole/Wikimedia)

Look For Large and powerful, the peregrine looks like a kestrel on steroids. It flies with smooth but shallow wing strokes, easily generating great speed. Wingspan is 3.5 feet wide (41 inches). When a peregrine flies into sight, waterfowl and shorebirds usually take off in a panic. This is a good clue to the presence… Read more

American Kestrel

American Kestrel (Photo by USFWS)

Look for The American Kestrel is North America’s smallest falcon. In flight, the kestrel has sharp-looking, pointed wings and a slender, long tail. In comparison to the merlin and peregrine falcon, it is slim. Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks also have long tails, but their wings are broad, not pointed. While soaring, the kestrel’s wings look… Read more

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