Friday, February 18, 2011

The Coolest Bird on Earth

If a post like this looks like I'm stalling for time, it's because I am! I'm still sorting photos and have a busy week of guiding and a gull workshop ahead of me. I spent all day preparing for the workshop tomorrow night and getting ready for a a day of guiding with American guest Larry Haugh. after that I will be co leading a tour with Jared Clarke for Z Birding Tours We'll be looking to clean up on lingering European and Asian vagrants and Newfoundland winter specialties. Hopefully we turn up a new bird or two along the way.

Anyway, enough rambling. The bird I'm referring to in the title is the Gyrfalcon. I refer to myself as being ina state of severe Gyr deprivation. It's a condition brought on by extended periods of Gyrlessness (yes that's a word, I just coined it!. I keep hearing stories from some of my eh hem "older" Newfoundland birding friends about the days when it wasn't a question of whether or not you were going to see a Gyr, but rather how many and what color morph they would be! I can only imagine. Gyrfalcons have been tough to come by on the Avalon Peninsula over the last ten years. In fact I've only seen 4. I remember each and every one of them. The last one being two years ago. It was a short encounter of a dark morph bird chasing a Herring Gull in mid October at Bear Cove on the southern Avalon.

This poor photo doesn't do the bird justice. I was looking over videos on you tube today and thought I would post this one of a white Gyr taking a Willow Ptarmigan.Partly, I'm posting this is because this is something I'm actually hoping to witness someday.I'll be looking for Willow Ptarmigan tomorrow and there just so happens to have been a White Gyr seen in the same area recently. It would be the the ultimate cure to my Gyr deprivation. I'll let you know tomorrow evening if it happened or not, cross your fingers for me ;) Just a heads up,you might want to have the mute button ready to go, just in case this music doesn't suit your taste.


  1. Gyr Falcon Absolute Crippler!!!! The best blog I've read for ages, certainly up with Martin Garners as one of the best.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Andy, much appreciated. Hiopefully I'll be able to keep on top of things and keep it updated this time ;)