Prairie Falcon

A Four Prairie Day - Give Thanks by Walter Kitundu

I wish Prairie Falcons weren't so skittish, but maybe the rarity of close encounters is what makes them so special. So to see 4 of them on my recent trip out to Panoche Valley was unexpected.

Such amazing birds. Ability to write decent caption... compromised...

A storm of blackbirds results from a Prairie swooping in and landing on the power pole below.

Check out those dark axillaries... a nice field mark for a Prairie Falcon that you can easily see from a distance.

Definitive proof that falcons can keep a close eye on you even when they are flying away.

Lovely Prairie by Walter Kitundu

As a volunteer with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory I've sat through many cold and foggy hours waiting to band hawks. When the sun shines anything can happen and this weekend was no exception. The highlight was my first encounter with a large falcon, a beautiful and scarily fierce juvenile female Prairie Falcon. Yeah, I know she looks cute but you have to be comfortable putting your hand into a pulsing blender to feel comfortable handling Prairies.

This one was extra large and extra fierce and completely awe inspiring.

She was in great health and left us wearing a new band with a unique number that I hope isn't recovered for a few decades.