New guy in town…

Observation date: 17 August 2014

You may remember in previous articles around the solstice a young married couple, both licensed falconers, that had brought a live Great Horned Owl to the Native American festivities on both winter and summer solstices. On Sunday, showed up with a new bird which caught the attention of most everyone including the resident male and female falcons on the south side of Morro Rock.

hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon, Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA

Carl and Bebot with their 8 year old hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon                               Photo by Heather O’Connor

The bird that you see here is an eight year old hybrid falcon, a cross between a peregrine and a gyrfalcon.

hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon, Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA

Carl with his hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon                                               Photo by Heather O’Connor

hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon, Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA

Hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon                                           Photo by Heather O’Connor

From 200 yards the resident female took notice as the falcon’s hood came off. Nothing happened for the first six or seven minutes until the tethered bird bated* from Carl’s fist.

hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon, Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA

About to bate…                        Photo by Heather O’Connor

Then the resident female vocalized and launched off her perch circling over us and screaming. Descending lower, she landed on a rock 70 yards off and 30 feet above the parking lot.  Now everyone was making noise. The resident tiercel, all this time, is racing across the face of Morro Rock landing here and there for a few seconds.

hybrid peregrine gyrfalcon, Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA

The south side female perched territorially defensive                                         Photo by Bob Isenberg

Twitterpated would be a good description of him. There were no close calls with the resident birds. However, if the trained falcon were weathered* and a few feet away from human activity, one or both birds could be severely injured.

Happy trails, Bob

Item: We hope to have Carl and Bebot Lea at the winter Bird Festival in January maybe with some feathered livestock.

*bated – beat the wings in an attempt to escape from the perch or gauntlet: The hawks bated when the breeze got in their feathers.

*weathered – To put a bird out into the open air and sometimes sunshine. This is generally done in a weathering yard where she is protected from any other raptors, dogs, or cats, has the opportunity to bathe or drink, and can spread her wings and soak up the sun or pull up her foot in the shade. Her weathering yard is typically watched by the falconer whenever she is there.

A falconry glossary will soon be posted.



About Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch

The Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch is here to inform birders, students and all people who are eager to know about these handsome peregrines. We want you to enjoy and be able to use our on-site powerful spotting scopes. We are available to answer your questions about the pair of falcons that have been observed for many years.

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6 Responses to New guy in town…

  1. Mike Baird says:

    Nice job as usual thanks for keeping us all informed and educated.

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Thank you, Mike. There is always a way to expand our knowledge. I’ve always been a curious person and know there is so much to find out in this world of wildlife. ~Heather

  2. Brian Riel says:

    How fascinating , wish we could have been there to watch . Thanks for the post .

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Yes, Brian, you are quite welcome. It was so exciting and expanded my knowledge of peregrine behavior. ~Heather

  3. fabulous – I love your narratives. Really must have been something to see this territorial issue going on.

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Thank you, Jill. It was so exciting. Bob always can put the excitement in his observations that we post with photos on our website. ~Heather

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