When ‘escape’ and ‘hybrid’ can still look cool.
Bit of a ‘blast from the past’. 16th July 2008. Alan Amery radioed through to say Mick Sharpe had found a dark falcon on the cliff top near Sandy Beaches, Spurn. This was the baby we found. To me it straightaway looked big (almost Buzzard-height, even without comparisons). With its rings and radio ‘wire’ it was clearly a falconer’s escape. Nevertheless, I thought it might be a dark morph Gyr Falcon presumably of the darkest stock of Newfoundland/ Canada. I took some shots as it ranged up and down the peninsular scaring everything in sight. In fact it proved too dark even for the darkest Canadian Gyr photos I could find. At the moment my limited understanding is that this is known as a ‘Black Gyr Falcon’. A domestic form bred to emphasis the dark colour. I think it was also reported to be a Gyr/ Prairie Falcon hybrid or something? Not sure.
some great photos of dark (wild) juvenile Newfoundland Gyr Falcon here. First photo below by Mick Sharpe , the rest MG’s.