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Distant Falcon (unidentifiable?) 1/21/23 Seneca Falls NY


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I'm pretty confident this is a Peregrine Falcon, not a Merlin. If you look closely at the first photo you can see the prominent mustache. Merlins tend to have a weaker mustache. Not that this next thing is reliable, but I feel a Merlin would be smaller in comparison to the branches and tree. It may just be the photo lighting, but an East coast New York Merlin's back would be paler.

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I had just seen a Merlin about 1/2 mile before seeing this bird, but on the computer this just didn't quite look the same. Of course both Merlin & Peregrine are relatively common for this area, making it harder to rule out either one.

DSC_0195.JPG

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29 minutes ago, Tanager 101 said:

If you look closely at the first photo you can see the prominent mustache.

Maybe you do.  To me, the head looks almost uniformly dark, although that does have me agreeing with Peregrine.

The body looks very heavily streaked, pulling me toward Merlin.

Falcon sp.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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1 minute ago, IKLland said:

For me it’s mostly GISS…it’s hard to explain but there’s definitely a structural difference between Peregrine and Merlin.

I can feel the GISS I guess.

1 minute ago, IKLland said:

I’d love to see what @Averyhas to say about it though because I’m curious how he/she made their decision for the future. 

So would I.

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As others have said, GISS is a big factor for me, especially when they are perched. When they are flying it’s a bit harder for me. But the round compact body, small square head and thinner mustache all point to Merlin. Here’s some reference shots that kinda show the body structure. It’s kind of like SSHA vs COHA for me. 
 

FC81C090-03DE-4BE4-AAFE-2A683363CBC6.jpeg

339039581.jpg

Edited by Avery
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