Gyrfalcon?


kmarianchild
 

I received this report from Don Sanderson of McNab Ranch:

A couple of weeks ago, my chickens raised a big fuss. They were twenty
yards away or so behind a redwood fence. I yelled and ran over to the
gate, which they were all trying to get through. Though there were
feathers scattered about, the chicken had escaped and I couldn't see
the cause. As I walked around the chicken house, I heard a deep almost
mammalian call from the nearby bluff. Then, this large raptor flew to
into a nearby tree and continued to talk to me. It seemed reluctant to
leave without its chicken. I clapped my hands a couple of times and it
flew off, but continued to circle the area for several minutes. A few
days later, it flew over us while we were walking through a vineyard
close by.

We have a resident pair of redtails close by and were visited by a
golden for a few days this past summer. This was neither, somewhere
between the two in size. From our search through Sibley's, this could
only have been a dark adult gyrfalcon. We informed a neighbor of our
experience and were told that a friend had recently lost a chicken to
a gyrfalcon. According to Sibley's, we are far on the outer ranges,
maybe beyond them. What a magnificent bird.

Thought someone should be informed.

Don Sanderson, McNab Valley

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