Falcon Identification Challenge

Last Friday Ginataras Baltusis filmed an immature peregrine falcon preening in New York City.   I found the video interesting because the bird is banded and has a pale face and head with long white eyebrow stripes.

The pale head made me think of the tundra subspecies from the arctic.  The bands made me think, “This bird hatched near people, not in the arctic.”  The head stripes are a puzzle.

Is this a tundra peregrine?  (Compare to this tundra peregrine in Pittsburgh in 2008.)   Is it a peregrine hybrid, perhaps a falconer’s escaped bird?  Or have I just been fooled by a bird with unusual head feathers?

What do you think?


(video by Ginataras Baltusis)


4 thoughts on “Falcon Identification Challenge

  1. Woodman Tower, in Ohmaha, Nebraska had one of their offspring resemble this in 2013. Some pics of it were caught on the live cam. They are posted on BCAW. If ok to post the link to the pics, here it is: http://www.peregrinefalcon-bcaw.net/viewtopic.php?f=478&t=1494&start=440
    Scroll down the page for the pictures.
    What is interesting, is that the female (nicknamed Hera) was unbanded, but was caught and given a USFW band. So her background is unknown….

  2. Some of the offspring of Mariah & Kaver (2002-2008) in Rochester, NY had that same marking above the eyebrow. Since M&K were unbanded, it was assumed both had some Tundra in them, especially Kaver. As you can see in this blog post, Diamante from 2008 has the pure white tundra chest as an adult, and the white eyebrow stripe as a juvenile. http://rfalconcam.com/imprinting/?p=1881

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