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It was cloudy and the lighting wasn't great... just the other day here in NW Arkansas.  We saw a vulture or two, then two swainson's hawks were right there with them... then, this other bird. The pointier wings and overall appearance had me certain we were staring at a mississippi kite. That's what we were seeing in the field and it wouldn't be our first over our yard this year.

But then I looked at pictures and, now I'm not sure. The lighting is HORRIBLE. In some pictures it looks sort of right to me... looks like a small bill on the bird. But in two of the pictures it looks like a big dark mustache like on a peregrine. But in other shots, not so much... so, this may just be the lighting. I don't know if anyone can make much out of it, adjusting the lighting or anything if needed. the overall shape in flight had me NEEDING to get some pictures but it was further away before I got the camera on the bird... The ones you "need" never stay right where you want them to. HA

I'm not 100% sure that the bird with the side profile is the same one but, I THINK it is...

 

bop1.JPG

bop2.JPG

bop3.JPG

bop4.JPG

bop5.JPG

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That profile screams Peregrine Falcon to me. I think I can even see the "helmet" appearance of the head in the 4th pic. They should be passing through right now. Perhaps that's the same falcon I saw here last week. :classic_rolleyes:

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if I look at pictures 3, 4, and 5 I kind of get a peregrine feel but, not at all with pics 1 and 2. My daughter just said she was looking in the books and doesn't think it's a peregrine.
I'll wait for more feedback on this bird. I wish the lighting was better AND that it circled around closer for just a minute. I'd have gotten better looks and better pictures.

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interesting... even though I don't feel like I see that helmeted look in the first two photos? 
I was thinking that poor light(or lots of darkness) was making me see dark on the face that wasn't there in the last three... but would you suggest lighting or angle/posture is making me not see the facial markings of a falcon in the first 2 pictures?
(gotta love poor photos right?)

Or... (or, and/or)
Are there specific features you can point out that don't include the head that would say "yep, that's a peregrine?"

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I'm curious if it's a burden on people for me to ask for more details on a bird rather than the typical "it's a _____."  Do people not want to provide more? Or do they not read all I write and simply look at pictures and give a response?
Not trying to complain but... in the last few months I've asked for more thoughts on a few and have often had to ask and ask and ask.
I'm glad there's agreement on this bird... and appreciate the responses.

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Posted (edited)

If it makes you feel better, the wings are too thin to be a kite. I still have yet to see a Peregrine, but I know long, thin, pointed wings are one of the field marks. 

And, when kites are soaring, the back edge of their wings is extremely straight, or slightly concave, this bird has an ever so slight convex curve to it. It's slight, but it's there. I watched a kite today, so the image is still fresh in my head.

Edited by meghann

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I don't know enough to tell it's a peregrine, but I can tell it doesn't have the short outermost primary of a Mississippi Kite.

It's always been true here that some people apparently don't read the question or discussion but just identify the bird in the photo.

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The profile is textbook Peregrine. The facial pattern is more than recognizable in a few of the photos. I often check  this sit during breaks during academics or some other activity. I apologize for being brief, but just hearing more opinions, even without explanation, is often helpful for the ID. 

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again, I'm not trying to complain. I know I'm a pain sometimes but that doesn't mean I like it. I question EVERYTHING that I'm unsure of, otherwise I wont learn a thing.
Thanks everyone. It's weird, I was more excited thinking it was a kite but, I've seen a couple kites before and a couple peregrines... this would be a first of year(likely only for the year) for a peregrine so I have to remind myself of that as that's still pretty exciting. Already had a kite fly over the yard the other week.
This has been a really good spring in our yard so far with a few new yard birds and a new life bird with a prairie warbler that just showed up right outside the living room window yesterday.

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