Falcon (hybrid)

A falcon shown by Kent Knowles, president of The Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. This “teaching bird” is a hybrid. Hybrid birds cannot be released to the wild, as per federal regulation, plus the bird has a human imprint that is not reversible and precludes release.

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The falcon was one of several birds featured in a raptor demonstration at the Belle Haven picnic area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. According to Mr. Knowles, …

The falcon hybrid is very likely part Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and part Merlin (Falco columbarius), a much smaller falcon species. This is the consensus opinion of a number of biologists and very experienced falconers. However, I cannot be sure without a [cost-prohibitive] DNA analysis. The gender of the hybrid falcon is unknown. Being a hybrid, there is no weight scale for his ‘species.’ I suspect he is a male by his behavior, but I cannot be sure without DNA analysis.

The event was hosted by Friends of Dyke Marsh, National Park Service, and The Raptor Conservancy of Virginia.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

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