Iíve been fascinated and excited by the Prairie Falcon report. On October 5, 2012, I spent time watching several different falcons along Gage Road, including one bird that I first identified as a Prairie Falcon Ė a species Iíd only seen once before, so I was very uncertain.
At the time, I posted this on VTBird:
There was one very unusual falcon on a wire. The bird was about the size of a Merlin. (It could have been a bit larger, but I couldn't tell. It was much bigger than the nearby Kestrel and considerably smaller than the fly-by Peregrine.) Its belly was snow white, the top very dark grey. The head was dramatic white and black, with a clear black moustache. I got a good, long look at the right side of the bird, in good light, and there were no colors except very white, very black and dark gray. All in all, the bird looked like a cross between a Merlin and an Eastern Kingbird.
Iíve thought of the mystery falcon every time Iíve driven down Gage Road. It was different from any Iíve seen in Vermont. Is it possible that Prairie Falcons have visited the state before? Or is there an uncommon subspecies of Merlin or Peregrine? Or a hybrid?
Maeve Kim, Jericho Center