Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Prairie and Peregrine Falcons

From the Birds of Prey series, I thought today I'd feature yet another exciting set of birds that inhabit the state of Arizona.  Listed as Least Concern on the Conservation Status of birds, these Falcons can be seen flying around the Tucson area.
Over the holiday season, my brother Adam and I had a chat about Falcons in Wisconsin.  He works at a Nuclear Power Plant on protected land.  He says that during several security checks, they've found bird carcasses on the ground.  They know it's a falcon because they eat everything except the head of their prey.  While that's pretty disgusting, it's also pretty cool info. 
Calls, heard mostly near the nest, are described as repetitive kree kree kree…, kik kik kik…, and the like, similar to the Peregrine's but higher-pitched. Experts can separate a distant Prairie Falcon from a Peregrine (generally the only similar species in its range) by its shape and flight style. The Prairie Falcon has a longer tail in proportion to its size; a more tubular, less stocky body; and the wing joint farther from the body. Its wingbeats are described as strong and shallow like the Peregrine's and having the same quick cadence, but stiffer and more mechanical.
If you'd like to see these birds, you need to be at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum by 10 AM because that's when they fly.  The Raptor Free Flights run until April 15th.  For information, check out the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum website.  More tomorrow.... 

7 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

such beautiful wing patterns. :)

tracy said...

You have just reminded me that I have not checked on the Peregrine Falcon webcam at Horizon Milling in Lake City, MN this year. The eggs usually hatch right around Easter!

eileeninmd said...

Very cool birds and photos. Great sightings!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks Chris for posting more about the Peregine Falcons... I have never seen one, but there is a place in North Carolina where they nest/breed.. That area is closed to hikers during the breeding season. Neat that they do that --to protect the Falcons...

Have a great day.
Betsy

Gaelyn said...

More excellent captures.

I used to work with birds of prey at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle where we offered a flight show. They are absolutely amazing.

Magpie said...

They are all such beautiful birds...strong, graceful and regal.

CameraCruise said...

Great post about the beautiful bird.
I'll never forget when we visited the Eagle Reserve in Denmark
and we watch the Falconer and his falcons. It was so amazing to watch. I only wish more people would visit places like this and the one you mention and show their children the amazing world of these wonderful birds.
Mette