19 July, 2011

Prairie Falcon

Scientific Name: Falco mexicanus

Population Estimate: 40K, Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Year round in grasslands of the American West. Extends up some into Canada and more extensively into Mexico.

Field Notes: Large for a falcon, medium-sized for a hawk. Fairly uniform pale brown back. Whitish chest with brown spots and bars. White supercilicary, dark mustache mark on face, dark ear patch. In flight, all light underneath except for dark "armpits," no tail stripes.

Personal Notes: A surprise find while hiking Painted Rock Canyon (looking for the elusive Canyon Wren) in Wyoming, then we saw a pair the following week at Devil's Tower. The top photo was from a nesting site on Deseret Ranch in Utah. 

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