Here are some quick tips for telling the difference between the two adult peregrines on the Gulf Tower falconcam.
Dori, the female, is on the left, her mate Louie is on the right. These clues are listed in order of importance:
- Dori has white patches where her wings meet her body. They are almost like “headlights” because they stand out when she faces you.
- Louie does not have white patches near his wings. Instead he has a large white patch on the nape of his neck. You can see this easily when he bows.
- Dori is much larger than Louie. The next photo is a side-by-side example showing the difference. Notice Dori’s long wingtips and tail. When she stands or turns in the nest box her tail often touches the wall.
- And (as Mary DeV reminded me in a comment) Louie’s beak is a brighter yellow than Dori’s.
Here are two more photos showing Dori, then Louie, in the same scrape. She is large! He is small. Female peregrines are larger than males.
I have written their band numbers on the photos even though it’s nearly impossible to read them on camera.
If you see both birds together you can identify them immediately by size, as shown in the photo below. Dori is huge. No wonder Louie bows low!
Watch them online here and see if you can tell the difference.
(photos from the National Aviary webcam at the Gulf Tower. Thanks to Marianne Atkinson for capturing the big bowing screen shot.)