Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peregrine Falcon

Just as the Sanderlings flew off at Bayocean Spit, I noticed a hawk flying out over the water. It was chasing another bird and they dipped in and out between waves as I watched. It was quite a ways out and as I watched, it eventually flew inland not far from me, but rather high in the sky. I had doubts that the pictures would turn out well enough to identify the hawk as they can be difficult to figure out, especially at such a long distance.

When I got home and downloaded the pictures from my camera to my computer, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only could I identify the bird, but that it had actually caught the bird it was chasing. Based on the order that I took the pictures, the above image must have been taken just after it caught the bird as you can see it hanging underneath.

It wasn't until I looked at some of the later pictures as it was flying overhead that I was able to get a fairly clear view of it with distinguished features. Again, much to my surprise, this "hawk" turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon. It's coloration suggests it is a juvenile as it was more brown than an adult and its belly has longitudinal striping rather than lateral.

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