The Falcon Thief: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

It didn’t occur to me till I started reading The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird that there was also a possible threat to the eagle herself: poachers, who steal raptor eggs and chicks. The Falcon Thief has come along at a good time.

Electric falcon

10,000 Birds

It is barely visible, but on it there seems to be an endangered Saker Falcon. We were searching for the territories of Saker Falcons. Serbia holds 13 per cent of the European breeding population of this “electrified” species which is not only Endangered in Europe but also listed as Globally Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Okay, but falcons do not nest in the grass? A bit further away, another occupied nest: a falcon!

The Beach Falcon

10,000 Birds

Long and very narrow – too long and too narrow even for a falcon, all but one: Eleonora’s Falcon ! Somehow, the length of its wings is apparent only in the first second, after that, it does become a falcon-like falcon.). A quite uncommon bird – there are only about 6000 pairs on the planet and this is one of only a handful of my observations of this species. Trips falcons Greece

Peregrine Falcon in Broome

10,000 Birds

On December 7th an odd looking Peregrine Falcon was observed in Broome at the Sports Ova l. In Australia we often observe Peregrine Falcons and they are the subspecies Falco peregrinus macropus. The Australian Peregrine Falcons have a distinct grey hood around their head and neck area, but this new arrival to Broome had quite a different facial pattern. Peregrine Falcon on the light tower! Peregrine Falcon on the light tower.

Can the Falcons Win the Super Bowl?

10,000 Birds

The hours are ticking down to Super Bowl LI, a hotly anticipated contest between perennial contenders New England Patriots and the upstart, high-flying Atlanta Falcons. Will the Atlanta Falcons actually win the Super Bowl? nationalist, holy person, or some species of pirate has won it all. For one thing, falcons are amazing , combining speed, strength, and agility in a sleek and deadly feathered package. Go Falcons! Sports falcons football

Listening to Falcons: The Peregrines of Tom Cade

10,000 Birds

That summer of 1938, when he was ten years old, Cade read of two brothers, Frank and John Craighead, who wrote of their experiences with falcons in National Geographic. I knew no falconers. ” Falcons could be taken from the nest just before they were able to fly or caught wild after maturity. Except for the falconer’s jesses and bell, they were to be allowed freedom to pursue life in the wild, life with minimal human contact.

2019 52

Wisconsin Falconer Legally Traps Snowy Owl

10,000 Birds

” That winter birding lull that plagues listservs and online groups with arguments seems to have reached new levels this winter as people debate not only how close one should get to an owl, but if feeding them ok (cause someone started a website on how to feed snowy owls ) to a direction I didn’t expect when a Wisconsin falconer live trapped a first winter snowy owl last week near Freedom. I haven’t always had such a high opinion of falconers.

Prairie Falcon Attack on a Northern Shoveler

10,000 Birds

On 11 November 2012 I was leaving Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake after a fruitless morning of trying to photograph birds in a snowstorm and poor light when a female Prairie Falcon ambushed this Northern Shoveler on the water not far from the causeway on which I was driving. With the duck dead in the water the falcon would alternate between perching on the causeway while watching the duck and occasionally flying over it for an apparent closer look.

12 countries with the greatest bird species density

10,000 Birds

The Species per Square Mile Approach. While Colombia may have almost 2000 bird species, it is a huge country with, still, complicated long-distance travel logistics. On the other hand, small countries with relatively long bird lists offer higher species densities per square mile.

2019 69

Six Months Birding in Costa Rica, 620 Species of Birds

10,000 Birds

Although Bobolinks are a very rare migrant, lots of other birds are possible, more than enough to rack up hundreds of species over the course of the year. Each January, I hope to identify at least 600 species over the next 12 months, this year, I’m hoping that Marilen and I (aka Team Tyto ) will find 700. Thanks to guiding, I have identified around 620 species six months into the year and Mary has a list of more than 530.

2019 58

I and the Bird: Looking for Falcons and Ravens

10,000 Birds

Since there are only nine species of Raven in the world, Corey and I are going to host a quickie for the coolest corvids of all this week. Common/Northern Ravens are welcome, but anything touching the other eight extant species is especially appreciated. Falcons are far more numerous throughout the world, so you better start sending your best work in now for the February 14 edition. We’ve got kestrels pretty much covered , but otherwise pour on the falcon flavor!

2013 53

I and the Bird: What is a Falcon?

10,000 Birds

What is a falcon, really? Based on their physical attributes and lifestyle, falcons enjoyed a very long run as a founding member of the order Falconiformes, along with the rest of the diurnal raptor-y type birds like vultures and eagles and hawks and hawk-eagles. Birders in the 21st Century are no stranger to genetic re-evaluations of species relationships, but this one may well be considered the blot heard round the world. Laughing Falcon, photo by Renato Espinosa.

2013 44

Which Bird Species Have Gone Extinct in Costa Rica?

10,000 Birds

Instead of going on about zip lines and other modern, adventure tourism attractions, the birding crowd talks about taking photos of Resplendent Quetzals , seeing dozens of hummingbird species, and the seemingly odd absence of raptors in Costa Rica but nope, we don’t really talk about extinction. Orange-breasted Falcon : Since there aren’t any specimens of this regal neotropical Falco from Costa Rica, we actually aren’t even sure if it used to live here. Species.

Birds of Prey: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Vultures of North America by Pete Dunne with Kevin T. Karlson

10,000 Birds

Dunne being Dunne, he is thorough in this project; the book begins with a full accounting of what he’s including under the rubric “raptor” and why, and proceeds methodically through the etymology of each species’ name, a thorough description, life history, ecology, and discussion of its conservation status, before concluding with a short section on the threats that all or most raptors face and action items on how to help protect them.

2017 40

The Gas Station Bird

10,000 Birds

This may seem like government agency hair-splitting, but the calls needed to be made not to the wildlife division of the wildlife agency, but to the exotic species division of the wildlife agency. One’s ability to own an exotic species varies from state to state.

600 Bird Species in Costa Rica by August, 2015. Which Birds Are Missing?

10,000 Birds

Each year, I hope to identify at least 600 species. That 600th species was a Streaked Xenops , an especially uncommon bird in Costa Rica usually seen at Tapanti National Park. That’s where I saw mine for 2015 but there are still plenty of other species lacking from the year list. Raptors : A pretty high number of raptor species occur in Costa Rica but hold your feathered horses raptorphiles because most are rare!

2015 54

The “Rufa” Red Knot is now protected under the Endangered Species Act

10,000 Birds

Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the “Rufa” population of Red Knot ( Calidris canutus rufa ) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). One of the two sub-species of Red Knot occurring in North America, the Rufa subspecies breeds in the Canadian Artic Region and migrates along the east or Atlantic coast of the United States. This means the species is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout its range. The U.S.

California Peregrines Victims of Their Own Success?

10,000 Birds

In a move that’s sure to stir controversy far beyond the borders of California, federal officials have announced that h enceforth, fledgling Peregrine Falcons won’t be relocated from nests built on bridges in the state. But it also means that some baby falcons are likely to plunge into a watery grave. Officials explain that the falcons sometimes prey on California Least Terns and Western Snowy Plovers , birds with dwindling numbers.

Kamikaze Pigeons and a War to Extinction

10,000 Birds

I am inside the city of Belgrade, checking the theoretically possible Peregrine Falcon site. Yet, not a trace of a falcon. ” Falcons do hunt pigeons, we all know that, but what is a Kamikaze pigeon? The falcon, obviously, goes after the slowest pigeon, takes it in mid-air and brings it to its nest, where it starts plucking it up for its chicks and quickly succumbs to the poison, as shown in this Peregrine nest camera footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kKoL3sdbaQ.

2015 60

De arte venandi cum avibus: San Martino Siir (2015) – Aglianico del Vulture DOC

10,000 Birds

So, in writing his own falconry treatise, Frederick drew on all sources of knowledge on birds available to him at the time, including the Aristotelian tradition inherited from antiquity, medieval bestiaries imbued with preordained Christian morality and symbolism rather than the careful observation of natural phenomena, as well as translations of later, more enlightened works by Arab falconers and scholars.

2019 43

Birding Greece: Black and white world

10,000 Birds

Now I break (and think that I should put a „I break for birds“ bumper sticker), bins… a falcon! An Eleonora’s Falcon , light morph, makes several circles above the Olive grove and it is gone. I am exhilarated – I have had only a handful of chances to observe this species! These falcons mostly feed on insects, but in the breeding season they catch migrating passerines – they even time their breeding to coincide with Autumn migration of passerines in late summer!

Birding Deliblato Sands: What I have seen and what I haven’t

10,000 Birds

On the opposite side is a smallish falcon, obviously too short-tailed for a Common Kestrel, a Eurasian Hobby first comes to mind… but a male Red-footed Falcon on migration it turns out to be. Red-footed Falcon’s breeding range starts less than 50 mi north of here and I hope that some will choose to join a local rookery and stay. They are quite a rare breeding species in Serbia, declining as we speak, but one pair breeds nearby.

2018 42

Wildlife Rehabber Misidentification

10,000 Birds

I have received so many calls to come rescue a baby hawk or falcon or some kind of raptor,” wrote Jennifer Dudley, and attached this photo. Someone brought me a Cliff Swallow he swore was a falcon,” wrote Louise Shimmel. The best I could do was to finally acknowledge that a swallow was LIKE a falcon, sort of, a predator, and winged insects are sort of like birds, as prey, sort of … right?”. “I Occasionally finders mistake not just species, but entire classes. “We

2014 70

Backyard Birdfeeder Bragging Rights, a Great Adventure for a Great Twitch, and More: This Week in Birding News

10,000 Birds

Let us no more speak of this week’s extraordinary failure by a cast of Falcons to finish off their prey. If you’re a cuckoo or cowbird hoping to pawn off your parenting duties on another species, new brood parasitism research shows you’ll have better luck if the eggs you deposit in their nest are blue-green instead of brown. Instead, we’ve got other bird news to cheer us up (or at least take our minds off avian’s inexplicable inability to capture U.S. sports championships ).

2017 40

AOU 53rd supplement: Highlights and near misses

10,000 Birds

Falcons split from hawks to join parrots and songbirds Unanimously, the committee voted to remove falcons (Falconiformes) and parrots (Psittaciformes) from their current positions in the list and place them before the songbirds (Passeriformes), more closely to reflect the relationships between these three great orders. In any case, the species does come north into U.S. Birds AOU falcons finches parrots taxonomy taxonomy and systematics

2012 58

Close Encounters

10,000 Birds

There are at least three species of wildflowers clinging to this cliff by the way. For sitting in the middle of a stream of the river was a Peregrine Falcon , eating the young Thayer’s Gull it had brought down. A Peregrine Falcon sits warily on its kill, a young Thayer’s Gull Finally it had enough and sprung into the air. Birding Arctic Canada Peregrine Falcon raptors Rough-legged Hawk

2012 57

Week 13: Arriving down Under, Melbourne Part #1

10,000 Birds

Then it was a hike thru a forested reserve, for some bush birds, followed by a second hike thru a planted forest to track down our last few species of the day. The results were an astounding 87 species, more birds of prey than I have seen in a couple of decades, and some great hits on hard to find waterfowl. This Brown Falcon was very patient, giving me several minutes to photograph it. I have been looking forward to this visit for some time.

2018 41

The Lake of Beasts: Kerkini, Greece

10,000 Birds

Birdwise, it turned out to be a good one and my year list was almost 400 species long, which made me happy… almost. The Lesser White-fronted Goose is one of the most threatened waterfowl species of the Western Palearctic, with illegal killing being the most important threat globally. Yet, we didn’t get far when a smallish falcon flew over the dyke and landed on a log in the mud. Kerkini species list: 312 (my relaxed mid-winter 5 days tally was 76 species).

Comebackers

10,000 Birds

For mankind to snatch away a species’ very existence is wrong on so many levels that I can’t begin to explain them. However, despite our best efforts to wipe them off the face of the earth, some of the more vulnerable species have managed to hang on. These species have seen the infamous Brink of Extinction, seemingly gone over the edge, and have scrambled back to solid ground in the nick of time…with a little extra help. this species breeds. Species.

2014 61

Critically Endangered: Sociable Lapwing

10,000 Birds

The official definition of CR status says the species could be gone within ten years, or could lose 80 per cent of its population within three generations – whichever comes first. Actually, despite the fact that central Asian steppes cover huge areas, Sociable Lapwings breed only around nomadic cattle herders’ settlements, which signifies that this species has evolved alongside wild ungulates, such as Blackbuck and Saiga antelopes, which kept the grass short. Gujarat, December 2010.

2014 70

Santa comes to La Paz early

10,000 Birds

One of the huge thrills I got was to watch a Peregrine Falcon sweep thru the tidal area, spooking one of the large flocks of sandpipers, and then flash back thru the flock and grab breakfast. I am always very excited to catch up with a Mangrove Warbler … I just hope someday it will become a species all by it’s self. Birding American White Pelican La Paz Mexico Long-billed Curlew Migratory Species Nikon Tidal Flats

2016 50

Nisqually Delta Wildlife Refuge

10,000 Birds

Nearly 800 acres of wetlands and tidal flats provide diverse habitat for the local birds, as well as large numbers of migratory species, including thousands of ducks and geese. At one point, standing in the middle of one of the first dikes, I was able to spot 17 Bald Eagles , a Peregrine Falcon , two American Kestrels , and Northern Harrier. Birding bird photography Migratory Species National Refuges Nisqually Wildlife Refuge State of Washington

2017 40

The Truth Is Out There

10,000 Birds

Superficially similar to Fork-tailed Flycatcher, especially if you don’t know that this species exists! Most of these birds are escaped/freed pets who have established breeding populations, and many of these populations are growing; others could be falconer’s birds, or part of a zoo or private collection. So unprepared were local birders for Pin-tailed Whydah, some of them openly questioned the species’ very existence on the local listserv.

A Field Guide to the Birds of Mongolia

10,000 Birds

A Field Guide to the Birds of Mongolia by Dorj Ganbold and Chris Smith (2019) offers more than 500 species in one neat edition. Chris has spent several years conducting bird research in Mongolia, including with the Saker Falcon project.

Birding northern Serbia, or a sudden bird tour

10,000 Birds

It was an unexpected bird tour, without too much planning and aimed at a few target species, of which we saw most, but the main one eluded us… Early morning, leaving the last houses behind… and a Little Owl awaits us on a traffic sign. Red-footed Falcon by Martin Mecnarowski/Wikimedia Commons.

What’s in a Name: Northern Goshawk

10,000 Birds

Since we’ve covered some generalities already, once a month I’ll be exploring how a species, genus, or family of birds got its name, and how those names fit in with our larger understanding of, and relationship with, birds. Some people do think the Northern Goshawk is undignified, at least compared to the falcons, as I learned while reading the excellent memoir H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.

2015 77

Visit the Macaw Lodge in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Today the reserve contains mature forests, secondary forests, rivers, lagoons, small waterfalls, agroforestry productive areas, and functional gardens; which are the habitat of more than 350 species of birds.

Best Time to Bird South Florida? Fall Migration

10,000 Birds

If conditions are right, the Palm Beach Agricultural Area can be teaming with various shorebird species such as Spotted, Solitary, Upland, Buff-breasted, Least, Semipalmated, Western, and Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plover, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Black-necked Stilt.

2020 73

Habitat Mash-up

10,000 Birds

We only saw the first two, and in our effort to scour each broken limb for a perched raptor, we stumbled upon a Bat Falcon of all creatures. Bat Falcon in the now blazing sun. The southwest peninsula of Trinidad is unfortunately rarely birded by visiting birders.

Keeping Cool in Tierra Caliente, part 2

10,000 Birds

The males can compete with Painted Buntings for their neon colors, and the females, like those of that related species, have their own subtle beauty. (It’s It is always a species they have dreamed of seeing for years.).

My Championship Hummingbird Season

10,000 Birds

On that occasion I counted 40 individuals from 10 different species. Although counting individual hummingbirds is always a questionable enterprise, and distinguishing hummingbirds by species can be quite challenging as well.)

2020 57

Bitternsweet Moments

10,000 Birds

The evening was drawing to a close and we had just checked on the roosting nighthawks and were about to check another field for shorebirds when we spotted a lone Aplomado Falcon perched on a distant tree. Aplomado Falcon.

2020 73

Starting the Year in Birding at Raptor Ridge, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

We did just that and were treated to a parade of species both in front of and behind the house. Out back, a water feature at the edge of the forest saw visits from several Painted Buntings, Olive Sparrow and a few other species during the heat of the day.