Pigeon Hawk

Falco columbariusA really nice and extended look at a Merlin (Falco columbarius) yesterday in Green-Wood. The bird gave me the big, beady eyes, too.Falco columbariusThese falcons are known for perching for a long period of time, eyes on the lookout for the prize. The surroundings were busy with Blue Jays and Monk Parakeets, both roughly the same size as this small raptor, so a bit of a stretch as prey.Falco columbariusThe faint Fu Manchu “mustache” mark is visible in these photos, coming down from the eye. This species has a broad range in North America, with three distinct populations; East Coast birds are usually “Boreal” (a.k.a Taiga), Falco columbarius columbarius. A sort of medium roast bird compared to the very light Prairie and very dark Pacific subspecies. Half a dozen other subspecies are found across northern Eurasia.Falco columbariusNote also the “eyebrow.” This species also known as Lady Hawk and Pigeon Hawk.

New York is the very southern end of their breeding territory, with only a few records in the state, generally in the Adirondacks. We see it here in NYC during migration. But sometimes at other times as well. I got a good picture of one last January in Green-Wood, practically right next door to yesterday’s location.

7 Responses to “Pigeon Hawk”


  1. 1 Susan November 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for getting so close so we too could get close to this special bird.
    Great photos!

  2. 2 Paul Lamb November 11, 2014 at 5:49 am

    You certainly do get wonderful photos!

  3. 3 mthew March 1, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Reblogged this on Backyard and Beyond and commented:

    One from the archives. A 6th Anniversary highlight.


  1. 1 Kestrel | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on November 15, 2014 at 7:02 am
  2. 2 Return of the Green-Wood Merlin | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on November 23, 2014 at 7:02 am
  3. 3 Borough of Raptors II | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on January 7, 2015 at 7:08 am
  4. 4 Raptor Wednesday | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on November 2, 2016 at 7:00 am

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