|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This is a Lanner/Saker Falcon hybrid on take-off for a big flight. This is part of my first set of successful falcon flight pictures. I'm very proud! :-) |
It is a large falcon, at 43-50cm length with a wingspan of 95-105cm. European Lanner Falcons (Falco biarmicus feldeggi, also called Feldegg's Falcon) have slate grey or brown-grey upperparts; most African subspecies are a paler blue grey above. The breast is streaked in northern birds, resembling greyish Saker Falcons, but the Lanner has a reddish back to the head. Sexes are similar, but the browner young birds resemble Saker Falcons even more. However, Sakers have a lighter top of the head and less clear head-side patterns. The Lanner's call is a harsh "wray-e".
The Lanner Falcon is a bird of open country and savanna. It usually hunts by horizontal pursuit, rather than the Peregrine's stoop from a height, and takes mainly bird prey in flight. It lays 3-4 eggs on a cliff ledge nest, or occasionally in an old stick nest in a tree.
The Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) is a very large falcon. This species breeds from eastern Europe eastwards across Asia to Manchuria. It is mainly migratory except in the southernmost parts of its range, wintering in Ethiopia, the Arabian peninsula, northern India and western China. During the end of the last ice age - oxygen isotope stages 3-2, some 40,000 to 10,000 years ago -, it also occurred in Poland (Tomek & Bocheński 2005).
The Saker Falcon is a large hierofalcon, larger than the Lanner Falcon and almost as large as Gyrfalcon at 47-55cm length with a wingspan of 105-129cm. Its broad blunt wings give it a silhouette similar to Gyrfalcon, but its plumage is more similar to a Lanner Falcon's.
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A pity we couldn't see the bird even closer, but you've got a great catch all the same! How exciting to get to see it! The bird blends in very well with its surroundings -- but you did a great job picking him out and focusing!
- [2008-02-11 18:59]
Nice job of capturing the falcon in full flight and still keeping it in focus. I know from past experience that this isn't easy to do. I'm sure the bird was going pretty fast when you made the shot. TFS
Great motion capture of Lanner/Saker Falcon hybrid on take-off for a big flight. Good POV. I have done a WS. Trust you appreciate the changes.